Waikato History Research Seminar – A double-faced history of the New Zealand state between colony and empire. By Miranda Johnson, University of Otago

Thursday 3 September, 1 pm – 2 pm via zoom https://waikato.zoom.us/j/91715166294

This talk presents some of my preliminary research about how we might write a history of the New Zealand state that is outward as well as inward-looking, and that takes this liminality seriously as a matter of historical construction. Rather than assuming that “New Zealand” pre-exists colonial and imperial endeavour, the project will examine how “New Zealand” has been made and contested through engagement with a Polynesian world. It asks how and why state sovereignty was conjured and asserted in terms of a right to rule Pacific Indigenous peoples, even before “New Zealand” was recognized as a sovereign state in international law.

Miranda Johnson is a senior lecturer in history at the University of Otago. She is the author of the prize-winning book The Land Is Our History: Indigeneity, Law and the Settler State (2016) and co-editor with Warwick Anderson and Barbara Brookes of Pacific Futures: Past and Present (2018).