Month: April 2016

  • My anthropological and post-colonial turn?

    I seem to be collecting a lot of anthropological and post-colonial literature at the moment. My shelf (below) is the evidence: Bernard S Cohn, Nicholas Thomas, Ashis Nandy, Partha Chatterjee, and a slice of Peter Burke. I can feel my mind expanding in different directions and assuming new hues. At the same time I’m building […]

  • Conversations about land, war, etc

    H T Kemp was a native interpreter and Crown purchase agent in the 1840s and 50s. He was a son of early missionary James Kemp. His 1870 English and Māori grammar fascinated me, including the way he starts with enumerating the various ‘tribes of the North Island’ from the 1870 census, and his ‘conversations’ including […]

  • From the Archives…

    My MA thesis of 2007-08 on New Zealand parliamentary debates of the 1850s-60s emphasized the way history imbued the consciousness of the Victorians. In particular, when conceptualizing the history of the indigenous people Victorian New Zealanders encountered, they placed them in their own civilizational history: as Europe’s history had once been peopled by savages and barbarians who were […]

  • Reading… Thomas Babington Macaulay

    If any Briton represents the image of the statesman-scholar of the nineteenth century, it is Thomas Babington (“T B”) Macaulay. Son of the anti-slave trade campaigner, Zachery Macaulay, he was a pre-eminent man of letters of the Victorian age, a parliamentarian and orator acclaimed by many, a Cabinet minister, and for a time an administrator […]