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

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


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.

The panel will discuss what it means to be a woman writer in Aotearoa New Zealand but also about the pleasures of reading women’s New Zealand fiction. Lydia loved reading across all genres, from Janet Frame and Katherine Mansfield to Mary Scott and Joyce West and also Ngaio Marsh. The panellists will discuss their own take on writing about and in Aotearoa New Zealand, but they will reveal their own reading tastes and memories of their favourite writers growing up and their high and low brow tastes in enjoying their fellow authors.

If you have access to the University library, you might like to read Lydia’s 2011 review essay on The ‘The Girl that is not me’ in Commonwealth: Essays and Studies; Paris Vol. 33, Iss. 2,  (Spring 2011): 56-65,157.  "A girl who is not me" - ProQuest: You might also turn to the recording of the interview on Jane Mander listed for the week of 11 May.

Chair: Kate de Goldi, author and teacher at Massey University.

Panel: Harry Ricketts, Emeritus Professor, Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington; Linda Burgess, author, Brigitte Bonisch-Brednich, Professor of Anthropology, Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington.


About the Chair and panel

Kate De Goldi writes fiction for all ages. She teaches Writing for Children at Massey University. Her new novel Eddy, Eddy will be published by Allen & Unwin in July 2022.

Harry Ricketts has published around 30 books. These include literary biography The Unforgiving Minute: A Life of Rudyard Kipling (1999) and Strange Meetings: The Poets of the Great War (2010), personal essays, eleven collections of poems (most recently Selected Poems, 2021) and several anthologies of New Zealand poetry and war writing. He retired from the English Programme at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington in 2021 and is an Emeritus Professor.

Linda Burgess has published 8 books: 3 novels, a collection of short stories, 2 memoirs and 2 books on historical NZ buildings. Currently, she's enjoying writing personal essays (The Spinoff, North and South) and talking about television with Jesse Mulligan on RNZ. Ironically she'd far rather be listening to radio or - most of all - reading, than watching television.

Brigitte Bonisch-Brednich

Professor of Anthropology, School of Cultural Studies, 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

4 May: Cultures of Reading

11 May: Writing and Reading for/in Public

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