National Library talk (Wellington): Katie Cooper, ‘Hearth and Home: Reconstructing the Rural Kitchen, c1840–1940’

You are invited to this public event. The event is free but please RSVP to with Hearth and Home in the subject line.

Note that this is a lunchtime talk and that the finish time is 1.15pm.


Please join us at our Wednesday 5 July Public History talk presented by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage and the National Library of New Zealand

‘Hearth and Home: Reconstructing the Rural Kitchen, c18401940’

A talk by Dr Katie Cooper


How do we capture the flurry of activity, the frenetic movement of people and goods, the routines and ruptures that shape individuals’ everyday experiences and the spaces in which they live? How do we write a history of domestic space, and what are the benefits of such an endeavour for the social or cultural historian? Reflecting on her recently completed doctoral research, Katie Cooper will address these questions, offering a peek through the window of New Zealand’s rural kitchens. The kitchen was the confluence point for a web of social relations that stretched across and connected distant places, but it was also a space in which intimate personal relationships could be built and broken. As such, it is the perfect vantage point from which to examine the overarching structures of rural life, while also capturing the diversity of individual experiences.


About the speaker:  Dr Katie Cooper is curator of colonial histories at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Her doctoral research, completed in 2016, examined the history of rural New Zealand to 1940, focusing on rural foodways and the kitchen as a functional and social space in rural homes.


When:  Wednesday 5 July 2017 at lunchtime, 12.15pm to 1.15pm

Venue: Please come to Te Ahumairangi (ground floor), National Library Building, corner of Molesworth and Aitken Streets, Thorndon, Wellington.