1 May 2019 Origin stories and Pākehā intergenerational family memory

1 May 2019 from 4.10 pm – 5.30 pm
Stout Research Centre Seminar Room, 12 Waiteata Rd, Kelburn

Family Seminar Series

Presenter: Anna Green

When asked about their family past, where do Pākehā families choose to begin? Origin stories are widely perceived to exert considerable power and emotional traction in the narrative construction of both collective and personal identities in the present. In this presentation I want to explore two kinds of ‘origin stories’ evident in my current Marsden-funded research into Pākehā intergenerational family memory. The first story might be characterized as ‘from the outside in’, and the second as ‘from the inside out’. I will draw upon the oral history interviews conducted over the past three years with sixty multigenerational families, throughout the country, whose European forebears arrived in New Zealand between the 1830s and the onset of the First World War in 1914. How did our participants begin their family stories, and which origin story might be the most powerful in the creation of personal narrative identities?

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Anna Green is an Associate Professor in the Stout Research Centre for New Zealand Studies at Victoria University of Wellington. Her current research focuses upon family memory, and recent publications include ‘Who Do You Think You Are? The Family in Public History’ in What is Public History Globally (2019); and ‘Intergenerational Family Memory and Historical Consciousness’ in Contemplating Historical Consciousness (2019).

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