Auckland’s history news for 2015…
We began 2015 by leaving our historic home in Wynyard St and moving to new premises. History is now located with Classics and Ancient History in Short St, on the edge of the city campus, and will be until the university’s longer term building programme progresses. The move has not disrupted our activities though (and may have done something to improve our overall fitness!). This year’s Sinclair lecture, held earlier than usual, was given by Professor Joanna Bourke, and we also hosted distinguished visitors Professor Sir David Cannadine and Professor Linda Colley. Here to give the Robb lectures, both visitors also shared their time with the discipline and school through seminars, and sessions with postgraduate students. New staff member Ryan Jones ran a successful symposium on the anniversary of the Rainbow Warrior bombing, and we have just wrapped up the university’s six week public Winter Lecture series. Co-ordinated by Linda Bryder and Maartje Abbenhuis, the series ‘Global war, global catastrophe: historians discuss the First World War’, drew largely on our own staff but we were fortunate to be able to include talks by Damon Salesa and Victoria’s Kate Hunter. Other visitors included Dr Angus Ferguson from the University of Glasgow who gave a public lecture in February, and Drs Patricia O’Brien from the Australian National University and Vanessa Heggie from the University of Birmingham, who gave departmental seminars.
Research has also continued apace, with new books by Barry Reay, (co–authored with former students Claire Gooder and Nina Atwood) and Melissa Williams. We are especially proud of Melissa Williams, Aroha Harris, and Judith Binney’s involvement in Tangata Whenua, and have been thrilled to see its ongoing success in book awards. We also look forward to the publication of recent PhD graduate Marianne Schultz’s book based on her thesis (and who received a publishing award from the Australasian Association for Theatre, Drama and Performance Studies). Our graduate students have once again been key recipients of the Auckland Museum’s Nancy Bamford grants, with PhD students Hannah Cutting Jones, and Emma Zurowski, along with MA student Ione Cussen all receiving awards. Two further PhD students, Ella Arbury and Willem van Gent, are finalists in the university’s ‘Best of Arts’ Awards, while Genevieve De Pont and Katrina Ford both received Kate Edgar Charitable Trust Post Doctoral Research Awards.
As with other disciplines in the humanities everywhere, considerable pressure remains on teaching. We have brought a very wide range of course to undergraduate students this year, with a corresponding increase in workloads. However, the bright light has been a marked increase in our Honours level students, and we hope to see this continue in 2016.