[From Professor Poia Rewi]
On Monday, 29 July 2019, Archway 1 was treated to a powerful inaugural professorial lecture by Professor Lachlan (Lachy) Paterson. Vice Chancellor, Professor Harlene Hayne, welcomed whānau stretching from Dunedin to the Bay of Islands and Tasmania; and University of Otago academics and friends to hear some strong messages on subject matter that requires careful navigation and courage.
Lachy duly acknowledged his whānau, senior leaders and colleagues in Te Tumu and across the wider university. He also made a special ‘shout out’ to client services staff who, as he said, “without them, the University would grind to a halt”.
Being promoted to Professor this year, Lachy, a non-Māori, a self-proclaimed Pākehā New Zealander ensconsed in Māori language texts, Māori-language print culture; the Treaty of Waitangi and Māori social, cultural, political and religious history, courageously and non-hesitantly gave his lecture on these topics; an academic historiography that demonstrated the multifarious nature of his teaching, research and engagement.
His lecture began with discourses from government newspapers published in the mid-1800s, and the nature of colonial racial discourse, in which Māori identity and culture was portrayed. He then discussed Māori and Pākehā attitudes towards race mixing. He concluded by extending a challenge that ‘we need to be vigilant and challenge any racist ideas that might re-appear today’.
This evocative conclusion rounded off a well-received lecture. His sustained high delivery and performance across research, teaching and community service provided the strong foundation upon which the University of Otago Promotions committee promoted him from Associate Professor to Full Professor in 2019.
After his lecture, attendees were invited by Prof. Tony Ballantyne to the University of Otago Staff Club for refreshments and to reconnect as friends and colleagues and continue conversations on the content they were privileged to hear.
Upon reflection of the lecture, his tuakana Gavin aptly summised, “ If more people took on board what Lachy talked about today, what better place than New Zealand would there be for people to live in harmoniously”.
Aroha mai! A belated roundup of Te Tumu research news.
In July we were treated to Poia Rewi’s Inaugural Professorial Lecture, held to celebrate his ascension to this tūranga rangatira within the university. The title of his talk was “Hoka : Motivators of Time”, a tour alongside Poia as he recounted his own academic journey, and his ZePA model of developing positivity around the use of te reo Māori. This was well attended by Poia’s whānau, staff and students, as well as many from the community, and was capped off with haka, waiata and karakia. The lecture can now be viewed on ITunes U.
In July Te Tumu were privileged to host Professor Michael Harkin as a William Evans Fellow. Professor Harkin, a cultural anthropologist and inaugural editor of Ethnohistory, gave several talks: a public lecture “The Trump at the End of the World: Monsters and Marvels in our Parlous Age”, in which he brought his knowledge of societies past and present together, and a departmental seminar, “‘The Emotional Archive’: The case of Residential Schools in Canada”, in which he examined ‘the relative lack of negative narratives [he] elicited…during fieldwork in British Columbia in the 1980s–2000s’, while also exploring ‘various forms of social memory, proposing the notion of an “emotional archive” that contains non-narrative memory traces’.
It is always great when our students gain their postgraduate degrees, after months or years of working on, and writing up their research. We had three such students graduating this August: Sandra Spence (Pākehā) and Raaniera Te Whata (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Porou, Te Whānau a Apanui, Airihi) with the Master of Indigenous Studies, and Gianna Leoni (Ngāti Kurī, Ngāti Takoto, Itariana) with a PhD.
Dr Lyn Carter supervised Sandra, whose research was on “Kāi Tahu Chinese Unions and Identity in Otago and Southland/Murihiku”; Associate Professor Merata Kāwharu supervised Rāniera (“Tautoro, tū te ao, tū te pō (The endurance of Tautoro heritage): Investigating challenges and opportunities”); Professor Poia Rewi and Associate Professor Lachy Paterson supervised Gianna (“Mā te Taki te Kāhui Ka Tau: Te Waiaro ki te Reo Māori i ngā Hinonga Kāwanatanga”) who wrote her thesis in te reo Māori. Gianna is teaching MAOR312: Te Māhuri 2 this semster.