News from the Stout Research Centre

Professor Brigitte Bönisch-Brednich has been appointed as the Director of the Stout Research Centre for New Zealand Studies.

As a Professor of Anthropology, Professor Bönisch-Brednich first connected with the Stout in 1996 when she and her husband, also an anthropologist, spent a year as research residents investigating the history of German immigration to New Zealand. She then joined the Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington Anthropology programme in 2002.

PHANZA member Dr Ben Schrader is also currently the JD Stout Fellow for 2022, investigating what we protect through conservation and why. The project titled, ‘Fabricating Identities: A History of Historic Conservation in Aotearoa,’ has been on his mind since he was young, explaining, “When I was a child growing up in 1970s Wellington, I used to admire the Victorian and Edwardian buildings that lined Lambton Quay. . .When almost all of them were demolished in the 1980s, I decided that one day, I’d like to find out why Aotearoa’s cultural heritage is so often destroyed.” He plans to use case studies to scrutinise how heritage was socially constructed in the past and the present.

Schrader is an urban historian with expertise in the history of cities, housing, and the built environment. His book on historic cities, The Big Smoke: New Zealand Cities 1840–1920, won the 2017 W. H. Oliver Prize and the 2017 NZ Heritage Non-fiction Book Award, as well as being shortlisted for the New Zealand Book Awards, along with his previous book, We Call It Home: a History of State Housing in New Zealand (2005)