“Get outside your comfort zone : reflections of New Zealand historians”. (2019)
Type of ContentTheses / Dissertations
Degree NameBachelor of Arts (Hons)
PublisherUniversity of Canterbury
This study investigates what four leading New Zealand historians think about the changes that have happened in historical practice in these islands over recent decades. New Zealand historians continuously debate how our shared histories should be practised and researched. However, many of these varied viewpoints are articulated individually through the written word: no one has yet asked historians themselves about their practice. This dissertation is a pilot study for a much larger project. It uses an oral history methodology to establish how New Zealand historians are thinking about their discipline and the challenges ahead. The personal testimonies of Vincent O’Malley, Ann Parsonson, Angela Wanhalla and Jock Phillips attest to the transformations which have occurred in indigenous, public, academic, educational, technological and methodological areas of history, while also offering critical reflections on their future directions. Despite their differences in generations, and in their professional and personal backgrounds, these historians share a consensus around the need to practice New Zealand history in ways that uncover its diversity, complexity and nuances, while nurturing the healing powers that understandings of the past can bring to communities.