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

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


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.

Short stories can be windows into other worlds. Fictions brief enough to be consumed in one sitting but memorable enough to stay in the imagination for months or years afterward, the short story at its best can be a kind of hinge between the everyday world and the world of the imagination. Appearing in weekly magazines and newspapers as much as in book collections, short stories mingle productively.

Lydia Wevers read, wrote about, and anthologised the New Zealand short story throughout her career. This panel takes Lydia’s work as a starting point to think about collecting and anthologising with Te Herenga Waka University Press publisher Fergus Barrowman, poet and zine maker Khadro Mohamed, and academic and anthologist Jane Stafford.

Reading: Women's work: contemporary short stories by New Zealand women. McLeod, Marion.; Wevers, Lydia.; 1985.

Chair:  Dougal McNeill, Senior Lecturer, English Programme, Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington.

Panel: Fergus Barrowman, Publisher, Te Herenga Waka University Press; Jane Stafford, Professor, English Programme, Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington; Khadro Mohamed, poet, photographer, and zine-maker.


About the Chair and panel

Dougal McNeill is a Senior Lecturer in the English Programme, having previously taught at Sophia University and Tokyo Woman's Christian University. His research interests are in global modernism, Australian, Canadian, New Zealand and Scottish literatures, and literary theory, especially Marxism and psychoanalysis.

Fergus Barrowman has been the publisher at Te Herenga Waka University Press (formerly VUP) since 1985, and was the founder and editor of the literary magazine Sport (1988–2019). He edited The Picador Book of Contemporary New Zealand Fiction (1996) and A Game of Two Halves: The Best of Sport 2005–2019 (2021).

Jane Stafford is a Professor of English Literature at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington and was a long-time friend, collaborator, and colleague of Lydia Wevers’. She is the editor of the Auckland University Press Anthology of New Zealand Literature (2012).

Khadro Mohamedis a Wellington-based poet, photographer, and zine-maker. Her first book is forthcoming with We Are Babies.

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

4 May: Cultures of Reading

11 May: Writing and Reading for/in Public

18 May: Women 'readings' of Aotearoa New Zealand

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