In this presentation Ben Schrader offers some reflections on the writing of his recent book The Big Smoke: New Zealand Cities, 1840-1920 (Bridget Williams Books, Wellington, 2016).
Why did he write the book and how did he go about it? What were the challenges and rewards of writing a broad story in a narrowly researched field? He then reveals some of the most important findings from the project and suggests ways they increase our understanding of New Zealand’s past. Finally, he ponders how the work might shape future research. Might, for example, his focus on the lived experience of city dwellers suggest social history is making a long-awaited comeback?
Recorded at the National Library of New Zealand, 5 April 2017.
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Shifting perspectives about colonial conflict: The Wairau Affray and the Battle of Boulcott’s Farm
With the Boys Overseas: radio listening during World War II and New Zealand’s first broadcast war correspondents
Learning in and from primary schools: Teaching Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories at Years 1 to 6
‘There was no honour in it’: Two aspects of New Zealand’s military history
The Platform: the radical legacy of the Polynesian Panthers
Crossing the lines: the story of three homosexual New Zealand soldiers in WW2
Reflecting on the value of social media as a history-research tool
Dissenting Voices – New Zealand and the South African War 1899–1902
Inside the Bubble
Kei roto i te miru: inside the bubble
‘Palmy Proud’? Audience and Approach in Writing the History of a Provincial City
Tamihana Te Rauparaha's life of Te Rauparaha
Te Mana O Te Reo Māori
Unpacking the Suitcase
Māori women and the armed forces in WWII
Memorials, names and ethical remembering
‘Protest Tautohetohe: Objects of Resistance, Persistence and Defiance’
Wairoa Lockout: an oral history
Pūkana: moments in Māori performance
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