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Walter Scott in the Settler Colonies

Old Government Buildings, Wellington,

16 August 2021

This one-day symposium marks the 250th birthday of Walter Scott and considers his legacy in the settler colonies. It will be accompanied by a display of relevant holdings at the Alexander Turnbull Library in Wellington.


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10am Welcome (GB 117, Old Government Buildings)

10:15-11:15 Dialogue 1: Scott and the Poetry of Aotearoa New Zealand

  • Chair: Dougal McNeill
  • Philip Steer (Massey University): “Scott’s Minstrelsy, the Ballad,and the Work of Settlement”
  • Jane Stafford (Te Herenga Waka): “Dunedin in the Gloaming: Scott, Scottishness and the Poetry of Jessie Mackay”

11:15-11:30 Morning Tea

11:30-12:30 Dialogue 2: Treaties, Laws, Settlement

  • Chair: Adam Grener
  • Valerie Wallace (Te Herenga Waka): “Walter Scott and Legal Patriotism in the Scottish Settler Empire”
  • Nikki Hessell (Te Herenga Waka): “Scott and Settler Treaty-Making”

12:30-1:15 Lunch

1:15-2:15pm Dialogue 3: Here and Now: How to Do Things with Scott in the Settler Colonies Today

  • Chair: Jane Stafford
  • Adam Grener (Te Herenga Waka): “Unsettling Pedagogies: Teaching Scott Today”
  • Dougal McNeill (Te Herenga Waka): “‘Writing from the people’: Albert Wendt, Walter Scott and the Historical Novel”

2:15pm-2:30pm Afternoon Tea

2:30-3:30 Keynote

  • Chair: Nikki Hessell
  • Liam McIlvanney (Stuart Professor of Scottish Studies, Otago University): “’Empire and Indigeneity in ‘The Two Drovers’”

3:45-4:45 Exhibit (National Library, Molesworth St)

To register, please contact Nikki Hessell ( Registration is free but places are limited.