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Online lecture by Professor Joanna Kidman (Victoria University of Wellington, Indigenous Sociology) and Dr. Vincent O’Malley (Founding Partner, HistoryWorks)

Presented on Indigenous Peoples' Day 2023

Organized by the USC Dornsife Center for Advanced Genocide Research


The nineteenth century New Zealand Wars were a series of violent collisions between the Crown and Indigenous Māori communities that forever changed the course of the nation’s history. Thousands were killed or maimed in these conflicts, over two-thirds of them Māori. Māori who survived the British and colonial military onslaught found their lands stripped from them and future generations were condemned to lives of poverty, their once flourishing economies destroyed. The legacy of these wars profoundly affects Indigenous lives today. Yet colonial violence and its encroachment in Māori lifeworlds over time is remembered unevenly by different groups.


Drawing on historical and sociological perspectives, Professor Kidman and Dr. O'Malley will discuss how Māori communities invaded by British and colonial forces remember this tragic history and how their stories are transmitted across generations, and they will explore how shifting Māori tribal memories and settler amnesia or denial about this difficult past permeates people’s everyday lives in the present. They argue that it is only through an open and honest reckoning with this brutal history that healing can begin.


Read more about the lecture here.


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Joanna Kidman is an Indigenous Māori scholar affiliated with the Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Raukawa and Ngāti Toa Rangatira tribes of Aotearoa New Zealand. She is Professor of Indigenous Sociology at Victoria University of Wellington and Co-Director of He Whenua Taurikura: The National Centre of Research Excellence for Countering and Preventing Violent Extremism. Her anti-racism research focuses on the politics of indigeneity in settler nations and the rise of white identity extremist movements. With Vincent O’Malley, she is co-leader of a major research project, funded by the Royal Society of New Zealand, into how the nineteenth century New Zealand Wars have helped shape memory, identity and history.


Vincent O’Malley is the author of many acclaimed works on New Zealand history, including The Great War for New Zealand: Waikato 1800-2000 (2016) and The New Zealand Wars/Ngā Pakanga o Aotearoa (2019). In 2022 his book Voices from the New Zealand Wars/He Reo nō ngā Pakanga o Aotearoa won the prize for best work of general non-fiction pubished in New Zealand. In the same year he received the Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement in Non-Fiction. He is a founding partner of HistoryWorks, a group of historians specialising in Treaty of Waitangi research.

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