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The memory of a nation

Monday 12 February 2018, 5:45 pm - 7:00 pm

$18.00 – $25.00

The Memory of a Nation: An Historian and New Zealand’s National Identity

We are pleased to offer Friends the opportunity to hear Dame Claudia Orange present the JC Beaglehole lecture originally presented 30 November 2017 to the New Zealand Historical Association Conference in Auckland.

“It was a marvellous lecture and a great reflection on Claudia’s history career and all the things she has been involved in,” said Bronwyn Labrum, Head of New Zealand and Pacific Cultures, Te Papa.

Something of a revolution in public attitudes towards indigenous rights and the country’s history and heritage has occurred in the last 20 to 40 years. Tribunal research has broken many grounds. Its online reports have expanded our knowledge and understanding of Crown-Maori relationships. And the on-line history work of the Ministry for Culture and Heritage has increasingly ‘opened the books’ for students and researchers on a range of subject areas. Research institutions have responded with digitisation and new processes. The results are greater public awareness of the multiple narratives of the nation and a growing richness in New Zealand’s historiography.

Following a personal journey, this lecture deals with some of the publications, events and institutions of recent decades that have played significant roles in New Zealand history, adding to academic debate and impacting or filtering into the public domain. It notes that where historians work has an influence on the likely impact of their research. While most no doubt hope that in exploring the past they inform students and help the reading public to better understand the present, some are playing a broader part in influencing the history of our nation and shaping its future. It asks: what, then, are the questions that New Zealand historians should be asking about history?

Dame Claudia Orange is an Honorary Research Fellow at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington, having previously been responsible for the museum’s collections, and then its research. She was General Editor of the multi-volume Dictionary of New Zealand Biography (1990–2003), and also served as Chief Historian at the Department of Internal Affairs (1997–2000). She was awarded the OBE in 1993, received the University of Auckland’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 1997, and in 2009 received the honour of Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit. She has published widely on New Zealand history and race relations, and is probably best known for her considerable expertise on the Treaty of Waitangi. Her most recent publications are new editions of her award-winning book The Treaty of Waitangi (2011) and The Story of a Treaty (2013).

NB: Named after esteemed historian John Cawte Beaglehole, and established in 1973, this lecture is a long-standing centrepiece of NZHA activities.

Includes a glass of wine and free parking


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Monday 12 February 2018
5:45 pm - 7:00 pm
$18.00 – $25.00
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