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Annual Lectures


Each year we sponsor two public lectures - the Michael King Memorial Lecture and the Otago Anniversary Day Lecture.

Michael King Memorial Lecture

The Michael King Memorial Lecture was established in 2004 to commemorate the contribution of acclaimed writer Michael King to New Zealand history.


War in the Nazi Imagination - Professor Sir Richard J. Evans

The 2017 Michael King Memorial Lecture is now available on YouTube

Michael King Memorial Lecture poster copy

The 2017 Michael King Memorial Lecture was delivered by Professor Sir Richard J. Evans, Regius Professor Emeritus of History, University of Cambridge.

How did the Nazis conceive of war? In this lecture, Professor Evans—a world authority on Nazi Germany—argues that Hitler's belief that war was necessary for the fitness and survival of the German race led him to promote the indoctrination of German society at every level with a will to wage war and the preparedness to do so. Perpetual conflict was the aim, and the idea that World War II would have ended had the Nazis won is an illusion; it would have been followed by other conflicts, principally with America. In this way, defeat was built in to the Nazi war effort from the beginning.

Past Lectures

2016    James Belich, 'Hunt-driven expansion in New Zealand and Global History'
2015    Sir Tipene O’Regan, A W-anaka Without Walls: A K-ai Tahu Knowledge Base of Our Own
   Christopher Pugsley, 'The New Zealanders at Gallipoli - A Centennial re-assessment?'
2013    Professor Joanna Bourke (Birkbeck, University of London), 'Why are You Doing This To Me? Sexual Violence in the Past and Today'
2012    Grahame Sydney, 'Regionalism Forever: Reflections on My Backyard'
2011    Jeffrey Paparoa Holman, 'Weaving Stories<: Reflecting on the Writings of Elsdon Best and Tutakangahau'
2010    Jock Phillips, 'Constructing a Past: Hocken and the Memorialising of History'
2009    Tom Brooking, 'Tall Tales: Richard John Seddon and the Building of “God’s Own Country”'
2008    Brian Easton, 'Race Relations and the Economy'
2007    Sam Elworthy, 'Who Needs Books? Readers, Writers and Publishers in the Age of the Internet'
2006    C. K. Stead, '50 Years Ago: Some Images of the Young Poet and his Elders Brasch, Curnow, Sargeson'
2005    Michael Cullen, 'Two Ticks for Clio: Reflections on New Zealand Politics and History'
2004    Marti Friedlander, 'Photography as History'


Otago Anniversary Day Lecture

The Otago Anniversary Day Lecture was established in 2009 to support, foster and celebrate research on aspects of local and regional history.

Past Lectures

2014    Seán Brosnahan,“Becoming Toitū: telling the Otago story in a museum setting”
2013    Peter Holland, European Settlers Learning to Manage an Uncertain Environment
2012    Keith Scott, A Tin Can Tourist: The Ordinary Bloke of Old Otago
2011    David Goodman, ‘That dream of quiet was rudely broken on’: Experiencing and Remembering Gold Rushes
2010    Stuart Strachan, Dr. Hocken’s Legacy 1910-2010: 100 Years of the Hocken Library