Society for Philosophy and Culture seminar, held at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, in May 2011, as part of our series "Dialogues in Culture & Philosophy". Dolores Janiewski speaks on "Producing ‘National’ Knowledge in a Transnational Context: New Zealand Historians and Intellectual Nation-Building" with responses by Rebecca Rice and Alice Te Punga Somerville.

Examining the “national knowledge” produced by New Zealand historians points to the ongoing interactions between the processes of imperial expansion, state formation, the construction of nation-building narratives, and the transnational context of historical scholarship. Rather than personifying the insular, this island-based segment of the transnational historical community constitutes one of the most cosmopolitan congeries of historians in the world, far more global in perspectives and influences than the much larger continental counterpart who still must debate American “exceptionalism.” This talk examines the production of national knowledge by New Zealand historians beginning with J. C. Beaglehole and Fred Wood and continuing to the present with particular attention to the persistent tensions between local and global, provincial and cosmopolitan occur within the historical profession.

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