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We have built an exciting programme including keynote addresses supported by oral and poster presentations from delegates.

Our programme

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

Register now

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.

Register now

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.

Register now

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Wednesday 25 September

4:00–5:00pm University of Otago Heritage Buildings Walk

Venue: Castle Concourse, University of Otago


Back-Story: Heritage through words, pictures and threads

Panel speakers:

Tina Makereti, Lisa Chatfield, Catherine Smith and Madeleine C. Seys
Venue: Castle 1, University of Otago

Chair: Kirby-Jane Hallum


Opening reception for conference delegates

Venue: Te Tumu, University fo Otago

Thursday 26 September



Venue: Huton Theatre, Otago Museum


Mihi Whakatau/Formal opening

Keynote address: Megan Pōtiki, "The Beginning of an End: The Demise of Te Reo Māori at Ōtakou"

Venue: Hutton Theatre, Otago Museum

Chair: Tony Ballantyne


Morning tea
Venue: Atrium Level 1, Otago Museum


The Dynamics of Commercial Photography

Venue: Hutton Theatre, Otago Museum

Jonathan Howard, Developing confidence – Willliam Meluish and 1860s Dunedin

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

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

Chair: Angela Wanhalla

Race, Eugenics and Medicine

Venue: Barclay Theatre, Otago Museum

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

Chair: Barbara Brookes

12:30–1:30pm Lunch
Venue: Atrium Level 1, Otago Museum

Flora and Fauna

Venue: Hutton Theatre, Otago Museum

Paul Guy, Botanical Heresies circa 1869

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

Chair: Rosi Crane

Musical  and Performance Cultures

Venue: Barclay Theatre, Otago Museum

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

Chair: Kirby-Jane Hallum


Afternoon tea
Venue: Atrium Level 1, Otago Museum


Realism, Character, Emotion

Venue: Hutton Theatre, Otago Museum

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

Elise Silson, ‘You are a Poem’: Poetry, Revolution and the Knowledge of Self in George Eliot’s Middlemarch

Chair: Wendy Parkins

Faith and Theology

Venue: Barclay Theatre, Otago Museum

Anaru Eketone, The murder of John Whiteley

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

Chair: Lachy Paterson


Australasian Victorian Studies Association AGM

Venue: Hutton Theatre, Otago Museum


Keynote Address: Helen Pearson

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

Chair: Lisa Matisoo-Smith

Venue: St David Lecture Theatre, University of Otago

Friday 27 September



Venue: Hutton Theatre, Otago Museum


Keynote Address: Marion Thain
"Cosmopolitanism, Nationalism and the Politics of Parnassian Poetry (1860s–1880s)

Venue: Hutton Theatre, Otago Museum

Chair: Mandy Treagus


Morning tea

Venue: Atrium Level 1, Otago Museum


Art, Exhibitions and Collections

Venue: Hutton Theatre, Otago Museum

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 Gisborne’s vase: the growth of decorative arts and the national collection

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

Chair: Kirstine Moffat

Marriage, Materiality and Inheritance

Venue: Barclay Theatre, Otago Museum

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

Chair: Angela Wanhalla



Venue: Atrium Level 1, Otago Museum


Class, Gender and Taste

Venue: Hugton Theatre, Otago Museum

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

Chair: Christine Whybrew

Imperial Connections, Colonial Imaginations

Venue: Barclay Theatre, Otago Museum

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

Chair: Grace Moore


Afternoon tea

Venue: Atrium Level 1, Otago Museum


Making colonial connections: technology and mobility in an industrial age

Venue: Hutton Theatre, Otago Museum

André 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

Chair: Jane McCabe

Criticism, Sensation and Science Fiction

Venue: Barclay Theatre, Otago Museum

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"

Chair: David Ellison

Readers, Writers, Publishers

Venue: Kakapo Theatre, Otago Museum

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

Chair: Hugh Morrison


Buses depart for conference dinner at Larnach Castle

Location: Albany Street bus stop in front of Otago Museum reserve


Conference dinner

Dinner speaker: Liam McIlvanney
MC: William McKee

Saturday 28 September


Tea, coffee, and light refreshments

Location: St David Foyer, University of Otago



Venue: St David Seminar Room C, Univesity of Otago

Jonathan West, 'You see the blank on the map? I wish you to fill it up:: James McKerrow's exploration of the souther lakes in the 1860s

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

Chair: Craig Lee

Intellectual Networks

Venue: St David Seminar Room D, University of Otago

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

Chair: Richard Walter

Dunedin People, Places and Institutions

Venue: St David Seminar Room E, University of Otago

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

Chair: Paul Guy

Reformers and Campaigners

Venue: St David Seminar Room F, University of Otago

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

Chair: Barbara Brookes


Morning tea

Venue: St David Ground Floor foyer, University of Otago


Closing address

Speaker: Tilly Boelyn, "The Evolution of Engagement"
Venue: St David Lecture, University of Otago

Chair: Angela Wanhalla

1:30–2:30pmUniversity of Otago Heritage Buildings Walk

Sunday 29 September


Walking Tours of Dunedin's Shoreline in 1865

09:30–11:00amW.D. Trotter Anatomy Museum Guided Tour
11:30–12.30pm University of Otago Heritage Buildings Walk 11:30–1pmW.D. Trotter Anatomy Museum Guided Tour
1:00–2:00pm Walking Tour of Dunedin's Shoreline in 1865 1:30–3:00pmW.D. Trotter Anatomy Museum Guided Tour
2:00–4:00pm Archaeology Programme Open day 3:30–4:30pm

University of Otago Heritage Buildings Walk


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