This Is Us: Violence in Aotearoa’s Past and Present (an edited collection – Call for Papers)

This edited collection examines violence in Aotearoa New Zealand’s past and present. We are seeking chapters that engage with oral histories, written testimonies, or other sources to explore how violence has impacted the lives of individuals and their communities. We address the following questions:

How has violence manifested throughout history? How have histories of violence been represented or silenced? What are the lasting legacies of violence in Aotearoa?

We aim to bring together contributions from academics, independent scholars, kaimahi and activists, artists, and others working in the field of violence, broadly defined. In doing so, this collection not only contributes to the growing international body of scholarship that focuses on violence on a global scale, but also to contemporary discussions about what violence entails.

We invite abstracts for a wide range of chapters that focus on violence. These might include, but are certainly not limited to:
• Colonial violence
• State sanctioned violence
• Racial violence
• Gender violence
• Violence in schools and the workplace
• How people have responded to and spoken back against violence

Since the violent colonial response to the first Māori protests post the Treaty of Waitangi, Aotearoa has been a nation riven by violence, from the state to the domestic level. Many commentators spoke of the mosque massacres as a “loss of innocence”, showing ignorance of past massacres of Māori communities during the New Zealand Wars, and of Japanese prisoners of war during World War Two. The violence embedded in New Zealand society has continued into the present. The United Nations identified New Zealand as having one of the highest rates of domestic violence in the western world. The Abuse in Care – Royal Commission of Inquiry has highlighted the abuse hundreds of thousands of people endured in care institutions from the 1960s to early 2000s. This collection challenges political rhetoric and public commentary that minimises episodes of violence in New Zealand as isolated incidents. Rather, we aim to engage critically with violence in Aotearoa and to re-evaluate the ways in which more publicly palatable representations of the past can marginalise our many histories of violence.

Please send a 200-word abstract and a short biography to Cheryl Ware, Maria Haenga-Collins, and Keri Mills (; by 31 May 2021.

Contributors will be notified of acceptance by 11 June 2021 and completed chapters (first
draft) will be due by 17 December 2021.