Talk: Shooting at History

Aug 22nd 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Palmerston North City Library - 4 The Square, Palmerston North 4410

The Royal Society of New Zealand Manawatu Branch presents Professor Charlotte MacDonald from Victoria University of Wellington.

Approximately 18,000 soldiers in British Army regiments were stationed in New Zealand between 1842 and 1870. At their peak in the early 1860s the ‘redcoats’ were engaged in wars fought across the Waikato and other districts of the North Island, conflicts which shifted the balance of power in the colony. The military presence in the ‘settler era’ also shaped commerce, road building, telegraph and postal networks, medicine, music and social life, and connected New Zealand to the global reach of the nineteenth century garrison world of Britain and its colonies. Prof. MacDonald's research seeks to put a face to the men who served with the regiments in New Zealand, and to reach beyond the battlefields to the wider impact of the military presence in the settler empire. It draws on the dense archive of the War Office, to turn nineteenth century ‘big data’ into twenty-first understandings of the legacies of a difficult – and sometimes forgotten – history.

Charlotte Macdonald is a Professor at Victoria University of Wellington, and one of New Zealand’s leading historians of migration, health, gender, and the writing of biography.