NZSN Inaugural Conference 2012

Inaugural Conference

This conference aims to examine the ‘making of New Zealanders’ in the past, present and future. It will focus on New Zealand and its many different cultures, exploring their origins, historical sources and influences, contemporary changes and future developments. It aims to embrace as many as possible of the disciplinary fields within the humanities, social sciences and the natural sciences.

We anticipate that the cultures that will be explored will include not only the more obvious national, ethnic and religious ones, but the practices and mindsets of governmental, professional, business, educational, religious and sporting subcultures, and of cultures found in other daily occupations and interests, such as eating, drinking and entertainment.

We are interested in how elements of national culture have been imported from the Pacific, the UK, the USA, Europe and Australia, and how they have been exported through migration, disapora, and the media. We welcome proposals that approach New Zealand’s cultures from alternative, ‘outsider’ perspectives, and those that consider whether or not New Zealand’s cultures exhibit any remarkable ‘exceptionalism’ .

Speakers & Topics


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The evening of 6th July will be the launch of the 25 New Zealand Poets for the UK Poetry Archive 2012, with Directors,

  • Sir Andrew Motion and Richard Carrington,
  • Co-ordinating Director Jan Kemp,
  • readings by some of the poets.

Download the Conference Programme

Download the Conference Timetable


A full timetable of events is listed below.

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Topics might well be located in or refer to one or more of the following categories of culture:

  • National
  • Local
  • Political
  • Ethnic
  • Immigrant/diasporic/minority
  • Professional
  • Business
  • Creative Arts
  • Gastronomic
  • Sporting
  • Historical / critical writing
  • Environmental
  • Religion

Fees & Registration

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Full day
Half day
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Special Offer

Get one year’s free subscription to NZSN. Sign up to become a member we’ll send you a special discount code. Use this when purchasing your conference ticket to have your first year’s annual fee deducted.

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Registration is closed

Alternatively, you can download the form below and pay by bank transfer or cheque.

Download the NZSN Conference Registration Form

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For delegates attending the conference registration will cover morning and afternoon teas, lunches, receptions, programme, conference dinner and a chance of publication in the conference proceedings.


For 20 minute papers of c 250 words plus brief biosketch by 31 March to Intending delegates should be current members of the NZSN. The website will post regular updates of the conference.


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Friday 6 July to Saturday 7 July 2012


Birkbeck, University of London
43 Gordon Square, WC1H 0PD


We recommend booking early due to heavy demand caused by the Olympics. For block booked rooms or for billeting please contact the convenors.


For any queries write to the convenor, Professor Janet Wilson at



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Friday 6 July

10.00 – 10.45
Andrew Sharp: Introducing the New Zealand Studies Network
Rod Edmond: Prolegomena to the conference
Janet Wilson: Conference organisation & arrangements


10.45 – 12.00
Panel One: Settlement and Unsettlement
Chair: Rod Edmond
Stephen Turner: ‘The Stray Culture of Settlement’
Chris Prentice: ‘The Shaking of New Zealanders’


12.00 – 13.00


13.00 – 14.15
Panel Two: Founding Cultures
Chair: Andrew Sharp
Roshan Allpress: ‘Evangelical Cultural Translation in New Zealand before 1840’
Anna Boswell: ‘New Zealand’s Most Historic Spot’


14.15 – 15.30
Panel Three: Recent Cultural Shifts
Chair: Janet Wilson
Jo Smith, ‘Maori Television’s Make-over of Narratives of Nationhood
Michelle Keown, ‘”Brazen Black Letters”: Language and the Politics of (Multi) Culture in “Asian” New Zealand Writing’


15.30 – 16.00
Afternoon Tea


16.00 – 17.00
Dean Sully, Rosanna Raymond, Anthony Hoete, ‘Locating Hinemihi’s People’
Chair: Janet Wilson


17.00 – 17.45
Heather Devere & Camille Nakhid: ‘A Special Relationship of Friendship: The 1962 Treaty of Friendship between Samoa and New Zealand’
Chair: Andrew Sharp


18.00 – 20.00
Poetry Archive Launch

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Saturday 7 July

10.00 – 11.15
Panel Four: Regionalism, Culture and Society
Chair: Chris Prentice
Melissa Kennedy: ‘The Call of the West Coast and the Reality of Rain’
Jennifer Lawn: ‘Revisiting “Fiction and the Social Pattern” in the Era of Social Death’


11.15 – 12.00
Panel Five: Shaping the National Literature

Chair: Rod Edmond
Jane Stafford: ‘“A knife through time”: Editing The Auckland University Press Anthology of New Zealand Literature’
Susan Kinnear: ‘A Balancing Act: Cultural Pioneering in New Zealand Literature, 1905-1939’


12.00 – 13.00


13.00– 14.15
Panel Six: Katherine Mansfield
Chair: Jane Stafford
Gerri Kimber, ‘Recollections of New Zealand: Katherine Mansfield’s “recherché du temps perdu’
Aimee Gasston, ‘Reading for Eating: Katherine Mansfield’s Short Stories and the Art of Consumption’


14.15 – 15.30
Panel Seven: Maori Self-Representation and the Post-Colonial
Chair: Michelle Keown
Sarah Byrne: ‘Material Culture and its Textual Representations: The Local and Global Intersections within the Aesthetic Evolution of the Maori Meeting House’
Rehab Hosny Abdelghany: ‘The (Handi)Craft of Fiction: Raranga and Whatu in The Bone People’
Bumbekile Ncube: “To be or not to be patriotic”: Questioning the Rhetoric of Nationalism as Represented in the Fiction of Alan Duff and Dambudzo Marechera’


15.30 – 16.00
Afternoon Tea


16.00 – 16.45
Nancy Pollock, ‘Discriminating Tastes: Good Food in New Zealand Gastronomy’
Chair: Janet Wilson


Matariki Performance by Baggage Theatre Co-Op of ‘Te Haerenga: A Journey of Identity’



NB: The panels are 75 mins: 30 mins for each speaker and 15 mins for questions; in panel 6 the three speakers will have 20 mins each.