Regional Round-up: VUW History and environs

Contributed by Cybele Locke

In May, Māori Postdoctoral Fellow Arini Loader and Professor Charlotte Macdonald brought together an outstanding group of scholars for a symposium entitled ‘Fast History, Slow Reading: he pukapuka tataku tenei’ to consider the lives of historical texts and their interpretation.  The symposium was supported by the New Zealand India Research Institute, directed by Sekhar Bandyopadhyay, and opened by Paul Meredith on behalf of the Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Māori).  Arini Loader has been appointed lecturer in Māori history, beginning in 2015, where she joins recently appointed Catherine Abou-Nemeh, Valerie Wallace and Cybèle Locke.  Catherine offers courses in Early Modern History, with a speciality in Early Modern Science. Valerie teaches on British radicals and revolutionaries, with a special topic in ‘Contesting Colonialism: The British Empire and the Settler Colonies’. Catherine and Valerie have also been coordinating a research-in-progress Early Modern Workshop for postgraduates and staff from a range of disciplines.  Cybèle teaches courses on Māori and Pākehā in the nineteenth-century world and an oral history course, ‘Working Lives in New Zealand’.  She continues to find oral history interviews and abstracts the most pleasurable and stimulating marking she has ever done. 

Sekhar Bandyopadhyay has been awarded the ‘Rabindra-smriti Puraskar’ (Rabindranath Tagore Prize) for his book Decolonization in South Asia: Meanings of Freedom in Post-independence West Bengal, 1947-52 (London: Routledge, 2009/Hyderabad: Orient BlackSwan, 2012).  Named after the Indian Nobel Laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore, it is a prestigious literary award in India, given by the State Government of West Bengal.  Simone Gigliotti became the Chairperson of the Holocaust Centre of New Zealand in October 2013 and has been busy guest editing for the Journal of Genocide Research, Vol. 16, no. 4 and with Giacomo Lichtner, Maartje Abbenhuis, and Mark Seymour on “Faultlines: Cohesion and Division in Modern Europe” for the Australian Journal of Politics and History, Vol. 60, no. 3.  Simone also coedited Ethics, Art and Representations of the Holocaust: Essays in honor of Berel Lang (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books) with Jacob Golomb and Caroline Steinberg Gould.  Alexander Maxwell saw the publication of his book Patriots Against Fashion: European Sartorial Nationalism in Europe’s Age of Revolutions with Palgrave this year and he organised a symposium ‘Ukraine: Historic Legacies’ with the Antipodean East European Study Group, in September.

Kate Hunter (Head of Programme) and Kirstie Ross (Modern Curator New Zealand at Te Papa) recently published Holding on to Home: Stories and Objects of the First World War, with Te Papa Press.  And keeping in theme, Jim McAloon gave the Nelson Historical Society James Jenkins memorial lecture on ‘Nelson and the First World War’.  Steve Behrendt is finishing up Liverpool, the Slave Trade, and Atlantic History with Hopkins PhD student Nick Radburn for Liverpool University Press.  Adrian Muckle has facilitated another inspiring year of the History Programme Seminar Series, which included talks by our Otago colleagues Takashi Shogimen and Mark Seymour.  Dolores Janiewski was away on leave for the first part of this year, presenting at the European Social Science History Conference in Vienna and at the National Archives in Washington DC.  Charlotte Macdonald and Giacomo Lichtner are currently on research leave and it would not be fair to make them account for their activities until they return.

The ninth New Historians Conference was held on 25-26 August and was very successful.  Organised by a committee of postgraduate students – David Hall, Rob Kelly, Stephen Clarke and Sarah Burgess – with an audience of around 40, 21 postgraduate students in history and related disciplines from around the country attended and presented papers on a variety of topics.  Keynotes were given by Arini Loader (VUW) and Mark Seymour (Otago).  Two PhDs were completed in the VUW History Programme in 2014: Erin Keenan, ‘Māori Urban Migrations and Identities, ‘Ko Ngā Iwi Nuku Whenua’: A study of Urbanisation in the Wellington Region during the Twentieth Century’ and Rachel Patrick, ‘The Unbroken Connection: the Stewart Family as a Family at War’. Please see the next edition of the NZJH for the list of completed MA theses.  We were pleased to have a large cohort of Honours students this year with 23 students undertaking the dissertation.

VUW History is well represented by Jim McAloon (Chair), Cybèle Locke and Grace Millar on the Labour History Project committee and they have been busy organizing the Rona Bailey biannual lecture and judging the inaugural Bert Roth award for labour history works produced in the previous calendar year.  The 2013 winner was Rebecca Macfie for her book Tragedy at Pike River Mine: how and why 29 men died 

Stout Research Centre for NZ Studies: History Activities

Richard Hill has been working with fellow Waitangi Tribunal members on the stage one report on Te Raki o te Paparahi (Wai-1040), which covers Crown-Māori relations up to the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.  Like three of his History Programme colleagues, he is on the LHP committee.  Anna Green edits the Journal of New Zealand Studies, and is currently on a European Union funded visit to the Czech Republic, at the invitation of the History Department at Palacky University, Olomouc, to talk about oral history and history and theory.  Vincent O’Malley is the JD Stout Fellow for 2014.  His latest book, Beyond the Imperial Frontier: The Contest for Colonial New Zealand (Wellington: Bridget Williams Books), was launched in September, 2014.  Dr Steven Loveridge, researcher, published his first book, Calls to Arms: New Zealand Society and Commitment to the Great War (Wellington: Victoria University Press, 2014), as well as a chapter and a journal article.  Brad Patterson, Adjunct Research Fellow, co-authored, with Tom Brooking, Jim McAloon, Rebecca Lenihan, and Tanja Bueltmann, Unpacking the Kists: The Scots in New Zealand. Montreal and Dunedin: McGill-Queens University Press/Otago University Press (published Canada Oct. 2013, NZ March 2014).  He was the historical adviser for a four part TV series on Ulster migration to NZ (Brave New World) produced by Belfast’s Doubleband Films.