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Dr Jane McCabe

jane_mccabe 186

Fixed-term Lecturer

Room 2S3, Arts 1 (Burns Building)
Tel +64 3 479 5761

Academic qualifications

2014: PhD, University of Otago
2009: PGDip Arts, University of Otago
2006: BCapSc, University of Otago
1995: BA, University of Otago

Research interests

Jane researches at the intersection of family, community, culture and intimacy. Her recent monograph Race, Tea and Colonial Resettlement (Bloomsbury, 2017) examines the lives of the ‘Kalimpong Kids’: Anglo-Indian youngsters who followed an extraordinary trajectory from tea plantations in northeast India to resettlement in New Zealand via a Scottish mission school in Kalimpong. This book explores their descendants’ fashioning of family narratives from hushed beginnings to journeys to Kalimpong. Jane’s grandmother was one of the emigrants and thus she has brought a personal story into the realm of academic and public history. She continues to engage with the ‘Kalimpong community’.
The same spirit of community engagement informs Jane’s current three-year (2017-2020) project, funded by a Royal Society of New Zealand Marsden Fast-start grant. This is a cross-cultural history of land and inheritance on the Taieri and in Hokianga, and explores the way that farming families across different cultures have navigated the complex process of intergenerational land transfer.

Research website:

Courses taught


McCabe, J. ‘An Unlikely Pair: Disturbance and Intimacy in an Interracial “Empire Family”’, Journal of New Zealand Studies 14 (2013), 122-137.

McCabe, J. ‘An Ideal Life: Anglo-Indians in the NZEF’, in Katie Pickles, David Monger and Sarah Murray (eds) Endurance and the First World War: Expereinces and Legacies in New Zealand and Australia (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014), 196-214.

McCabe, J. ‘Remaking Anglo-Indian Men: Agricultural Labour as Remedy in the British Empire, 1908-1938’, Gender and History 26:3 (2014), 438-458.

McCabe, J. ‘Working the Permit System: Anglo-Indian Immigration to New Zealand, 1920-1940’, New Zealand Journal of History 48:2 (2014), 27-49.

McCabe, J. ‘Settling in, From Within: Anglo-Indian Lady-Helps in 1920s New Zealand’, in Victoria Haskins and Claire Lowrie (eds) Colonisation and Domestic Service: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives (Routledge, 2014).

McCabe, J. ‘From Polo to Poultry: A Planter’s Legacy’, in Annabel Cooper, Lachy Paterson and Angela Wanhalla (eds), He Taonga, He Kōrero: The Lives of Colonial Objects (Otago University Press, 2015). 

McCabe, J. Race, Tea and Colonial Resettlement: Imperial Families, Interrupted (Bloomsbury, 2017).

McCabe, J. “Transforming Family Narratives: The Kalimpong Community in New Zealand”, in Pickles et. al (eds), History Making a Difference: New Approaches from Aotearoa (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2017).