Wednesday, November 14, 2007


The following items were but two among many, that caught my eye in the latest newsletter from IIML at Victoria University of Wellington.

This is the 117th in a series of occasional newsletters from the Victoria University centre of the International Institute of Modern Letters. For more information about any of the items, please email You may prefer to read this newsletter online at:

Three days in Florence

The NZ Studies Association is holding its next conference in Florence from 2-4 July 2008 together with the Centre for New Zealand Studies, Birkbeck, University of London. Its theme is 'New Zealand and the Mediterranean', and keynote speakers confirmed include Claudia Bell, Roger Collins, Caroline Daley, James George, Patricia Grace, Jan Kemp, Michele Leggott, Karen Nero, Vincent O'Sullivan, and Christopher Pugsley. The conference takes place in ‘a 16th century palace just 300 yards from the Uffizi Gallery, 200 yards from the Ponte Vecchio, and 100 yardsfrom the Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens’, say the organisers, who also promise excursions and a poetry reading from Jan Kemp, Michele Leggott and Vincent O’Sullivan. The deadline for proposals (for 20 minute papers) was 9 November, but we hear there may be a few slots left if you’re quick. Abstracts need to be 250-300 words and accompanied by a bio sketch of 100-150 words. A decision on proposals received will be made by 3 December. Send proposals to either Dr Ian Conrich, Chair of NZSA & Director of CNZS ( or Dr Dominic Alessio, Vice-Chair of NZSA (

London calling

Homesick Kiwis who can’t make it to Florence might instead consider joining the New Reading Group at the Centre for New Zealand Studies. The group will meet on the last Wednesday of every month (except December, July and August) from 6.45 pm to 8.30 pm in the Resource Room of the Centre for New Zealand Studies, Rm 330, Senate House, Malet Street, London. Books to be discussed ‘will range widely from recent releases to classics,from novels to biographies and short stories, the only remit being that all books chosen will be by or about New Zealand writers.’ The gatherings will be informal affairs with wine and nibbles, for which a modest charge will be made. The first session on 28 November will discuss C. K. Stead’s novel My Name Was Judas, and the 30 January meeting will focus on Janet Frame’s The Lagoon. Anyone wishing to attend should contact the Reading Group co-ordinator, Gerri Kimber (

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