Affective Economies of Dispossession

When:9 May 2017, 12:30pm - 1:45pm
Venue:Morven Brown 309 (map ref C20)
Who:Associate Professor Angela Wanhalla, University of Otago
Associate Professor  Angela Wanhalla

History Seminar Series


Drawing upon the history of emotion, this presentation addresses the relationship between affective practices and dispossession. Using the diaries of a land purchase officer who established a cross-cultural household, this presentation seeks to rematerialize how the affective economies underpinning domestic relations were woven into the fabric of everyday practices of dispossession in 1880s New Zealand. During this decade the colonial state expanded to cope with a growing settler population in need of land, and as such, the department responsible for “native affairs” focused its efforts on land purchasing. The diaries at the centre of this presentation provide a detailed accounting of how this form of dispossession was effected on a daily basis, but woven into each entry are also instances of emotional labour that are often overlooked in accounts of settler colonialism in New Zealand. Dispossession was sustained by an emotional economy constituted by a set of affective practices, which this presentation seeks to explore.

About Angela Wahnalla

Angela Wahnalla is associate professor of history at the University of Otago. She researches and writes about the connections between gender, race and sexuality in colonial history. She is the author of Matters of the Heart: A History of Interracial Marriage in New Zealand (Auckland University Press, 2013), which won the Ernest Scott Prize for best book in Australian and New Zealand history in 2014. Angela is co-editor of the New Zealand Journal of History.

View Past Events