Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu


The conference is a combination of a traditional academic programme with a range of public heritage festival events, special forums and social engagements.

We are building an exciting programme, including keynote addresses that will be supported by oral and poster presentations from delegates.

In addition to the conference, the 1869 committee will, throughout the week, be offering optional add-ons:

  • Dunedin and surrounds site visits
  • Professional development workshops
  • Collaboration meetings 
  • Social/networking events

1869 public events

Backstory: Heritage in Words, Pictures and Threads

Wednesday 25 September 6:00pm to 7:00pm
Venue: Castle 1

We bring four individuals together to talk about an expansive and inclusive concept of cultural heritage through the lenses of literature, literary criticism, film and textiles:

  • Tina Makereti grew her latest novel, The Imaginary Lives of James Pōneke, from an 1846 article in the London Times
  • Lisa Chatfield is charged with bringing 1860s’ Dunedin and the West Coast to life as producer of the BBC-adaptation of The Luminaries, Eleanor Catton's Booker Prize-winning novel
  • Dr Catherine Smith’s current research focus is the interdisciplinary analysis of Māori textiles based on a background in archaeology and conservation of cultural materials
  • Dr Madeleine Seys is an expert in the narrative and sartorial threads of Victorian popular literature. Chaired by Kirby-Jane Hallum and supported by Dunedin City of Literature

150 years of Nature: the past, present and future of a leading science journal

Thursday 26 September 6:00pm to 7:00pm
Venue: St David Lecture Theatre

Dr Helen Pearson public keynote

2019 marks the 150th anniversary of Nature, the most authoritative scientific journal in the world. The history of Nature mirrors how science and its role in society have changed over that time. Helen Pearson, Nature’s Chief Magazine Editor, will talk about the journal’s rich legacy and its continued mission to serve the global research community and communicate the results of science worldwide.

Gala Dinner

Friday 27 September 6:00pm to 10:00pm
Venue: Larnach Castle
$150 (includes transport, self-guided tour, canapes and beverage on arrival, three-course meal)

Situated on the picturesque Otago Peninsula, Larnach Castle is one of New Zealand’s premier visitor attractions. Lovingly restored by the Barker Family, the Castle and surrounding grounds are at the heart of the Dunedin visitor experience. Larnach Castle has received numerous national and international accolades.

Our dinner speaker, Professor Liam McIlvanney, Otago’s inaugural Stuart Professor of Scottish Studies, will comment on early predominantly Scottish early Otago’s lead in education in New Zealand. MC’d by William McKee, Toitu.

1 April Submission deadline
April/May Review of submissions
15 May Notification of acceptance
Early June Draft conference programme available
17 June Early bird registration opens
31 July Early bird registration closes / standard registration opens
1 August Standard registration closes / late registration opens
20 September Registration closes


Wednesday 25 September

5:00–5:30pm Registration

Bringing history to life

Panel speakers:

Tina Makereti and Lisa Chatfield

6:30–7:30pm Reception for conference delegates

Thursday 26 September

8:30–9:00am Registration

Mihi Whakatau/Formal opening

Keynote address:

Megan Pōtiki


Morning tea


The Dynamics of Commercial Photography

Christine Whybrew, Country: Alfred Burton’s first photographic tour of ‘Otagan scenery’

Jill Haley, The piggyback princess: popularity, power and the photographic portrait

Race, Eugenics and Medicine

Menglu Gao, “A Strange Likeness of the Chinaman”: Physiognomy and Dickens’s “Visualization” of Opium Addiction in The Mystery of Edwin Drood

Heidi Logan, Mary Elizabeth Braddon and the idea of Hereditary Genius (1869)

David Ellison, ‘This may sting’: Consenting to pain in the Victorian era

12:30–1:30pm Lunch

Flora and Fauna

Paul Guy, Botanical Heresies circa 1869

Virginia Henderson and Tim Webster, The Social Life of Teak

Wendy Parkins, The Mystery of the Matoaka; or, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird (with apologies to Wallace Stevens)

Musical  and Performance Cultures

Kirstine Moffat, ‘O joy unbounded’: The Cultural Legacy of Gilbert and Sullivan in Australia and New Zealand

Clare Gleeson, “500 Pieces of New Music This Week”: Music Selling in New Zealand c. 1869

Mark Houlahan, 1869 in Stages

3:00–3:30pm Afternoon tea

Gender & Literature

Adrienne E. Gavin, Reassessing British Women’s Fiction of the 1860s

Julia Kuehn, He Knew He Was Right: Trollope’s Mixed Characters

Faith and Theology

Anaru Eketone, The murder of John Whiteley

Sarah Bartels, The Devil in 1869: An Examination of Victorian Diabolic Literature

Elise Silson, ‘Sanctifying Doubt, Demystifying Faith: The Revolutionary Compassion of George Eliot's Realism in Middlemarch'


Keynote Address: Helen Pearson

Friday 27 September

8:30–9:00am Registration

Art, Exhibitions and Collections

Pamela Gerrish Nunn, Frances Hodgkins and the class of ‘69

Lara Nicholls, The other October revolution – art, enlightenment and reformist women in mid-century Victorian Britain and its colonial legacy

Justine Olsen, Mr Osborne’s gift: the growth of decorative arts and the national collection

Rebecca Rice, “A lot of paintings and drawings”: Dunedin’s 1869 Fine Art Exhibition

Marriage, Materiality and Inheritance

Fiona McKergow, “She wore her wedding-dress still”: Marriage and Silk Culture in Aotearoa New Zealand

Julia Bradshaw, Untying the knot: New Zealand’s first separation and divorce cases

Lyndon Fraser, ‘To my child now expecting to be born’: Women’s Wills as Acts of Remembrance in Victorian Canterbury

Erica Newman, Practice of Adoption in Aotearoa before the 1881 Adoption of Infants Act

11:00–11:30am Morning tea

Keynote Address: Marion Thain

12:30–1:30pm Lunch

Class, Gender and Taste

Angela Lassig, The Waste of Winter: A Wellington Draper, 1869

Tracey Jones, Un-sexed and de-feminised: Victorian Mining Women in England and Wales

Jeremy Moyle,  House Style and Class in Victorian and Edwardian Dunedin, 1870-1910

Imperial Connections, Colonial Imaginations

Charlotte Macdonald, A year of appeal: to the men of New Zealand, to the imperial government

Mandy Treagus, An American Adventurer: HJ Moors and the Pacific Labour Trade


Afternoon tea


Making colonial connections: technology and mobility in an industrial age

Andre Brett, “The stagnation into which the Colony has at present fallen”: 1869 and the Great Public Works Policy

David Haines, Crossing the pond: The Tasman Sea in late-nineteenth century colonial life

Frances Steel, The Union Pacific Railroad and its transoceanic frontiers

Criticism, Sensation and Science Fiction

Yi-Ching Teng, Recreating Criticism: Oscar Wilde’s Critical/Artistic Reading of Matthew Arnold

Madeleine C. Seys, Secrecy, Suspense and “Sensuous Raptures”: Sensation Fiction and its Legacies after 1869

Ian Chapman, From Jules Verne to David Bowie – ‘From the Earth to the Moon: A Space Oddity’

Readers, Writers, Publishers

Susann Liebich, Maritime Mobility and Texts in Transit

Lachy Paterson, A Year in the Life of Te Waka Māori

Megan Brown, 1869 – The Australian Journal Reinvents Itself

6:00pm Buses depart for conference dinner at Larnach Castle

Conference dinner

Larnach Castle

Dinner speaker: Liam McIlvanney

10:00pm Buses depart for city

Saturday 28 September



James Beattie and Warwick Brunton, ‘The Place and Power of Natural History in Colonization’: William Lauder Lindsay and the scientific development of Otago’s human and natural resources, 1860-80

Matthew Schmidt, Dunedin – a city built on reclamation

Jane McCabe, A Pivotal Year: Land Alienation and Entitlement in Taieri and Hokianga

Kathleen Davidson, Visualising Biogeography in 1869

Intellectual Networks

Peter Clayworth, Sketchy Histories: What were the 1860s Pākehā views of Māori migration to New Zealand

John O’Leary, Hand-axes, saurian and kobongs – Governor Grey’s London year

Kate Hannah, Correspondence, Colenso, and cultural shifts: Visualising New Zealand in 1869

Helene Connor, Reflections on the letters of Geraldine Ensor Jewsbury (1812-1880) to Walter Durrant Mantell (1820-1895) with a focus on 1869

Dunedin People, Places and Institutions

Lyall Hanton, Joseph Mellor: the man who described the Periodic Table in 16 Million words

Tom Barker and John Isdale, Thames School of Mines

Susan Irvine and Sarah Gallagher, Blowing Up Boundaries

Rosi Crane, Beyond Albums and Paintbrushes: Women and the Otago Museum, 1869-1936

Reformers and Campaigners

Anna Clark, Josephine Butler’s Women’s Work and Women’s Culture (1869): The Paradoxes of Individualism in Britain and New Zealand

Chieko Ichikawa, Women’s Writing on Sex: Rhetoric and Gender in the Social Purity Movement

Jane Tolerton, Otago's three women's suffrage movements: 1869-1893

Joanne Wilkes, Middlemarch and Reform: Looking Back from 1869

11:00–11:30am Morning tea

Closing event

Speaker: Tilly Boelyn, Curator, Science Gallery Melbourne


CRCC logo AVSA logo Heritage festival logo Larnach Castle logo