The Centre was pleased to host Tanya Evans of Macquarie University who gave a public lecture last week. While this was Tanya’s first trip to New Zealand, we also welcomed back a more regular visitor from Australia, Kristyn Harman (University of Tasmania) accompanied by her partner, Nick Brodie.
Academics are encouraged to make their research more “impactful”, which for Humanities scholars is often to get their research out beyond the narrow academic enclaves we work in. Presentations from all of three of the visitors above were relevant to this theme. Tanya, Director of Macquarie’s Research Centre for Applied History, discussed ‘The Emotions of Family History’, looking at why family historians and genealogists undertake their research, and how such research informs wider community understanding of, and individuals’ emotional connection to the past. In her investigations, Tanya interacts with family historians, with her research having far more impact than that of more siloed academic history.
Kristyn was in Dunedin to launch her new book, Cleansing the Colony: Transporting Convicts from New Zealand to Van Diemen’s Land (published by Otago University Press) which examines the more than 100 people sent from New Zealand into the Australian penal institutions. Kristyn also gave a lecture on these convicts to the Tuesday Club at Toitū: Otago Settlers Museum last week. Although most of the Club are retired and from many walks of life, they were keen, attentive, and intellectually engaged, with Kristyn’s talk attracting their largest crowd of the year.
Nick Brodie is an established Australian popular historian, author of Kin, 1787, and The Vandemonian War. Although he has his own academic background in history and archaeology, he now reaches a much larger market through well-researched but accessible books. Nick shared his own publishing experiences in a seminar to both staff and postgraduates at the university, with tips on how to make history relevant and engaging for non-academic audiences.
Dr. Kristyn Harman (University of Tasmania), who was a visiting scholar with the Centre in 2014, has returned to Dunedin for the launch of her latest book, Cleansing the Colony: Transporting Convicts from New Zealand to Van Diemen’s Land. She will also give a public talk on her book at Toitū.
Please feel free to come along to one or both of these events. Details are below:
Lecture: ‘Cleansing the Colony’, Tuesday 14 November, 10am at Toitū Otago Settlers Museum Auditorium.
During the mid-nineteenth century at least 110 people were transported from New Zealand to serve time as convict labourers in the penal colony of Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania). Even more were sentenced by colonial judges to the harsh punishment of transportation, but somehow managed to avoid being sent across the Tasman Sea. In this talk, the remarkable experiences of unremarkable people like William Phelps Pickering, a self-made entrepreneur turned criminal; Margaret Reardon, a potential accomplice to murder and convicted perjurer; and Te Kumete, transported as a rebel will be explored. Their stories, and others like them, reveal a complex colonial society overseen by a governing class intent on cleansing the colony of what was considered to be a burgeoning criminal underclass.
Book Launch: Thursday 16 November, 5.30pm at University Book Shop, 378 Great King Street.
This week the Centre for Research on Colonial Culture welcomes Dr. Kristyn Harman (University of Tasmania) as a visiting research fellow to the centre. Kristyn lectures in Aboriginal Studies and has published widely on Aboriginal history, race relations, warfare, and colonialism in significant international journals like Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History and the Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History. Her first book, Aboriginal Convicts: Australian, Khoisan, and Maori Exiles (UNSW Press, 2012) was awarded the prestigious Kay Daniels prize in 2014 by the Australian Historical Association. Kristyn is visiting for two weeks, where she will be based in an office in the Department of History and Art History and during her time here will present her research at a CRoCC symposium on Indigenous mobilities in history, as well as discuss a new project on PoWs at Featherston during WWII at the Migrant Cross-Cultural Encounters conference (24-26 November).