News from the Stout Research Centre

Appointment of the 2023 J D Stout Fellow:
The Stout Research Centre has announced the appointment of Dr Michael Brown as the 2023 J D Stout
Fellow; a fellowship that is so generously sponsored by the Stout Trust and administered by
Perpetual Guardians. Michael’s research project ‘From Lilburn to Vaporwave’ will investigate
contemporary electronic music and related topics, including the history of the New Zealand
internet. The work of Luke Rowell, one of New Zealand’s leading proponents of electronic
music and synthpop, will be the primary focus. Dr Brown is Curator, Music, at the Alexander
Turnbull Library; he will take a year’s leave to finish his project at the Stout Research Centre.
He is a well known ethnomusicologist, with a distinguished publication record and well known
in academic and non academic networks working on popular music culture, folklore and the
history of music making. He is an alumni of our university, having done his PhD in what once
was the Victoria/Massey School of Music. We are very much looking forward to Michael’s

PHANZA member Jacqueline Leckie is completing the book “Land of the Old Black Cloud: A Cultural History of Mental Depression In Aotearoa.” Jacqui continues with various roles for the Journal of Pacific
History and during the second half of 2022 co-hosted a very successful international webinar
research series for the Pacific History Association. She has recently published two
chapters ‘From Laucala Bay to the Region: the University of the South Pacific’, and ‘Visibly
Hidden in Suva: St Giles’ In Suva Stories: A History of the Capital of Fiji, ed. N. Halter Canberra,
ANU Press, 2022 (free to download).

2022 J D Stout Fellow Ben Schrader Reports on his project:
I’ve made significant progress on the book project over the last half year, not least developing
a much stronger conceptual framework than I had before. I’ve finished the bulk of the primary
and secondary research and am well advanced with the writing, with nearly three chapters
under my belt. I’ve been active in the university and wider community, delivering and the
Museum and Heritage Studies class in April and an urban history lecture to an undergraduate
History course in May. In September, I gave talks to the History Programme’s Friday seminar
series and to the Fabian Society. I delivered the J. D. Stout Fellow Lecture in early November.
In mid-November I gave a keynote addresses at the Music in Colonial New Zealand Cities
Symposium in Wellington and, later in the month, to the Society of Architectural Historians
Australia New Zealand and Australasian Urban/Planning History conference in Auckland. The
last three months of my tenure will be spent mostly writing. I would like to thank my colleagues
both in the Stout and Museum and Heritage Studies for their support and interest in my project.
I’m also very grateful to the Stout Trust for their continued funding of this important

J D Stout Annual Lecture 2022
Dr Ben Schrader – 3 November 2022
Fabricating identities: a short history of historic preservation in Aotearoa New
Zealand, 1890-1990.

Scholars have linked the evolution of historic preservation with the rise of nineteenth century
nation states, where nation builders used historic places to invent traditions that rooted people
in (national) soils. This was harder to do in settler colonies like New Zealand, where Pākehā
had no historical links to Aotearoa. Most settlers accepted Māori heritage as fixed in the land
but looked back to Britain as the source for their own.
The 1890s saw tentative recognition of Pākehā-produced heritage. Select historic places came
to represent, first, regional, and later, national invented traditions and identities. These include
Old Government House (Auckland), Canterbury Provincial Chambers, and the Waitangi Treaty
House. This process culminated in the creation of the Historic Places Trust in 1955 to promote
Aotearoa’s Māori and Pākehā heritage. Growing activism among preservationists led to
grassroots campaigns that saved structures like Wellington’s Old St Paul’s Cathedral and
Rongopai Marae near Waituhi but couldn’t save other structures like Nelson’s Provincial
Building and Auckland’s St James Theatre and Arcade. Why were some places retained and
others lost? The case studies reveal how communities formed strong affective bonds with their
built heritage and these activated preservation efforts; that ideas of what constituted heritage
was often contested and mutable; and, that heritage has played a pivotal role in shaping and
reshaping many New Zealanders’ identities and attachments to place.
Dr Ben Schrader is a Wellington public historian specialising in urban history and the history
of the built environment. The talk is drawn from a book research project he is undertaking with
Michael Kelly on the history of historic preservation in Aotearoa New Zealand.
A recording of the JD Stout Annual Lecture can be found here.