Reading Aotearoa New Zealand in the company of Lydia Wevers' work: Cultures of Reading

Reading Aotearoa New Zealand in the company of Lydia Wevers' work: Cultures of Reading


MCLT 103 Kelburn Campus and Online

This seminar is part of the Seminar Series: Reading Aotearoa New Zealand in the company of Lydia Wevers' Work.

While we often imagine reading as a solitary activity, many of us read as Lydia Wevers read: surrounded by family, community, and culture. Taking Lydia’s Reading on the Farm as a starting point, this panel will think about the cultures of reading that define us in Aotearoa, arising from our pasts, presents, and futures, in discussion with academics and internationally renowned writers Tina Makereti and Ingrid Horrocks.

You might like to have a listen to what Lydia had to say about her book: Lydia Wevers: Victorian farm fiction | RNZ

Chair: Nikki Hessel, Associate Professor of English, Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington.

Panel: Ingrid Horrocks, Professor of Creative Writing, Massey University; Tina Makereti, author and lecturer at Institute of Modern Letters, Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington.


About the Chair and panel

Nikki Hessel is Associate Professor of English at Te Herenga Waka. She researches eighteenth- and nineteenth-century literature and its connections to Indigenous-settler relations. Her latest book is Sensitive Negotiations: Indigenous Diplomacy and British Romantic Poetry (2021).

Ingrid Horrocks is a Professor of Creative Writing and English at Massey University. Her publications include two poetry collections, a book on women wanderers of the Romantic period with Cambridge University Press, and recent creative essays in Lithub, Ninth Letter, Landfall, and Sydney Review of Books. Her latest book is Where We Swim, a blend of memoir, essay, travel and nature writing (Te Herenga Waka Press, and UQP, 2021). She spent time at the Stout in 2014 and, like Lydia, grew up an avid reader in the Wairarapa.

Tina Makereti is author of The Imaginary Lives of James Pōneke (2018) and Where the Rēkohu Bone Sings (2014) and co-editor of Black Marks on the White Page (2017), an anthology that celebrates Māori and Pasifika writing. She also writes short fiction and creative nonfiction essays. She convenes one of the fiction/creative non-fiction Master's Workshops at the International Institute of Modern Letters, Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington.

About the series

Join us in honouring the legacy and work of Emerita Professor Lydia Wevers.

Professor Wevers was an internationally renowned literary historian and critic, teacher, writer, and scholar who specialised in New Zealand studies.

This series addresses themes and activities in New Zealand research that were central to Professor Lydia Wevers' work, especially during her time as director of the Stout Research Centre for New Zealand Studies. ‘Reading’ New Zealand through the lens of writers, columnists, journalists, librarians, booksellers, and academics colleagues will explore our understanding of our country through the lens of reading and writing.

Each afternoon will start with a short reflection on Lydia Wevers’ reading of the chosen theme. The panellists will then take this theme in new directions.

By ‘reading’ Aotearoa New Zealand, we deepen our relationship with our unique country; by discussing it together we seek to open it up to new ways of listening. Every panel session will end with Q&A.

If you have further questions, please contact: or

Date: Every Wednesday from 27 April–8 June

Time: 4.30pm–6pm (except 25 May seminar—5.00pm–6.30pm)

Where: MacLaurin Lecture Theatre 103, Kelburn Campus and Online


Other seminars in this series

27 April: The Infrastructure of Reading

11 May: Writing and Reading for/in Public

18 May: Women 'readings' of Aotearoa New Zealand

25 May: Reading the Short Story

1 June: Being Pākehā

8 June: A life as a Reader Researcher: Honouring Lydia Wevers’ Legacy at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

You are welcome to attend any number of seminars, please ensure you click only the ones you want to attend as spaces are limited: Register