Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Belich turns focus to global history as Stout Research Centre celebrates quarter century

New Zealand’s best known living historian, Professor James Belich, will officially launch his fifth book at the 25th Anniversary Conference of the Stout Research Centre for New Zealand Studies.

Entitled Replenishing the Earth: The Settler Revolution and the Rise of the Angloworld, 1783-1939, Professor Belich’s new book marks his first foray into global history, exploring the explosive historical process that now sees English as one of the most widely spoken languages in the world.
“We’ve moved on from parochial navel gazing and are building on the New Zealand experience, tracking the role of explosive settlement on frontiers in Australia, Canada and the American West in the remarkable rise of the Anglo-World,” says Professor Belich.

Professor Belich has been Research Professor of History at the Stout Research Centre since 2008. His previous books, all award winners, include a two-volume history of New Zealand, Making Peoples and Paradise Reforged, and The New Zealand Wars and the Victorian Interpretation of Racial Conflict, which won the Trevor Reese Prize in Commonwealth History in 1988 and was later made into a television documentary series
His latest book, published by Oxford University Press, (NZ rrp$65) , has received early acclaim in the US and UK, being named Book of the Week by Britain’s Independent newspaper and by the Times Higher Education Supplement.

Victoria University Vice-Chancellor Professor Pat Walsh, who will officially launch the book at the conference opening on Thursday 3 September, says Professor Belich’s research paves the way for a more international approach to historical research.
"Professor Belich’s latest work is an example of exporting New Zealand-made historical theories to the world, which is a reversal of the usual flow.”

The book launch will coincide with the 25th anniversary of the Stout Research Centre for New Zealand Studies, founded in 1984 by well-known historian Jock Phillips with a generous donation from the Stout Family Trust.
Since then it has played a leading role in researching New Zealand history, society and culture. Each year it organises conferences and seminar series, and it has facilitated numerous books and other publications.

Victoria University is proud to support the Stout Research Centre and the prodigious contribution it has made, and continues to make, to the history, society and culture of this nation,” says Professor Walsh.

What: Stout Research Centre 25th Anniversary Conference: Antipodes: New Directions in History and Culture Aotearoa New Zealand
When: 3-5 September 2009
Where: Hunter Building, Gate 1 or 2 Kelburn Parade, Victoria University, Wellington

For more information visit the conference website: or contact the Stout Research Centre on (04) 463 5305 or at

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