Presenting History: New Historians Conference 2021

History is all around us. It tells the story of where we have been, how we got here, and where we are going. As a result, the way our own history is framed is hugely important for our collective cultural conscience, as is demonstrated in the current restructuring of the New Zealand History Curriculum in schools. The 2021 New Historians Conference aims to investigate how the way we talk about how the way we present history shapes our understandings of our lives.

The Master's students from the History Programme at Te Herenga Waka - Victoria University of Wellington would like to cordially invite you to the 2021 New Historians Conference, held on the 23rd and 24th of August.  

The conference will feature presentations on a wide range of topics, with speakers from both VUW and other universities. Registration opens from 8:15am on the 23rd with the conference beginning at 8:45am, and at 9:00am on the 24th August. Attendees are welcome to join us for part of the day if they are unable to make the full duration.

The conference will be fully accessible via Zoom as well.

We kindly ask that you register for the conference here by Friday 20 August 2021 to let us know if you are attending in-person or digitally.

In-person Attendees
The cost for in-person attendance will be $30 to be paid either in cash on the day or online here, which will cover catering for the two days. If you are having trouble with the online portal, then please let us know or prepare to pay in cash.
We also warmly invite those attending the conference in-person to join us for a post-conference gathering at the Southern Cross Garden Bar and Restaurant, 39 Abel Smith Street, Te Aro, Wellington 6011 at the end of the first day (23rd of August). Food platters will be provided, and a cash bar is available.

Digital Attendees
There is no cost for digital attendance. We ask that those attending digitally also register, so that we can get a sense of numbers.

Keynote Speakers

We are delighted to confirm two keynote speakers:

Alice Te Punga Somerville (Te Āti Awa, Taranaki) is a poet, scholar, and associate professor in the Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Studies at the University of Waikato. She writes and teaches at the intersections of Indigenous, Pacific, literary and cultural studies, with the dual aim of centering Indigenous expansiveness and de-centering colonialism. Alice’s work includes Once Were Pacific: Maori Connections to Oceania, and the much-celebrated 250 Ways to Start an Essay about Captain Cook.

Arini Loader (Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Whakaue, Te Whānau-a-Apanui) is an indigenous scholar in the History department at Te Herenga Waka. Arini’s primary research focus is Māori and Indigenious literature, especially Māori-authored texts written over the course of the long 19th century. Arini has also co-written, produced, directed & performed in the short film E Whiti E Te Raa: Shine (2019). Overall, her work aims to unearth and represent the voices that have been buried by the colonial archive.

Panelists: Within and Beyond the Classroom: the politics of historical knowledge

Peter Adds (Te Āti Awa) is an associate professor for Te Kawa a Māui – the School of Māori Studies at Te Herenga Waka. Peter is a negotiator for Te Āti Awa ki Taranaki in their treaty claim, and has contributed to several books, including the award-winning Contested Ground: Te Whenua I Tohea, the Taranaki Wars 1860-1881. He has been an active advocate for the teaching of Aotearoa New Zealand history in schools, and is dedicated to making history accessible to all.

Leah Bell (Pākehā, Tangata Tiriti), is a writer, activist, and graduate of the History programme at Te Herenga Waka. Leah was a co-signatory of the petition to Parliament for a day commemorating the New Zealand Land Wars and for New Zealand history to be taught in schools. She continues her work on the history curriculum through involvement with the Ohu Matua advisory group, critiquing the curriculum for the Ministry of Education.

Emalani Case is a Kanaka Maoli (Hawaiian) writer, activist, and lecturer in Pacific Studies at Te Herenga Waka. She is deeply engaged in issues of Indigenous rights and representation, decolonisation, and trans-Indigenous solidarities across the Pacific. She is the author of Everything Ancient Was Once New: Indigenous Persistence from Hawai’i to Kahiki.

Liana MacDonald (Ngāti Kuia, Rangitāne o Wairau, Ngāti Koata, Pākehā) is a lecturer in the School of Education - Te Kura Māori at Te Herenga Waka, and is a former secondary school teacher. Her academic work pulls from sociological and philosophical lenses and focuses on the cultural politics of education. She has been involved in the Marsden project: He Taonga te Wareware: Remembering and Forgetting New Zealand’s Colonial Past, and is forever committed to decolonising the New Zealand school system.

Ngā mihi,

2021 New Historians Conference Organising Committee | Te Herenga Waka