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Webs of Empire: Locating New Zealand’s Colonial Past

Press Release

Webs of Empire
Locating New Zealand’s Colonial Past

Tony Ballantyne

‘Over the last decade Tony Ballantyne has driven forward a new vision of colonial history - one in which the transimperial mobility of ideas, people and things comes into sharper relief; in which the history of any one place is re-conceived through its connections with elsewhere. This book shows how, in reshaping our understanding of New Zealand’s place in the world, he has also reconfigured Britain’s imperial history.’

Alan Lester, Professor of Historical Geography, University of Sussex

Spread across the nineteenth-century colonial world was a tangled web of cultural and economic networks. In groundbreaking research, Tony Ballantyne positions New Zealand within these ‘webs of empire’, connecting Gore and Chicago, Māori and Asia, India and newspapers, whalers and writing.

His work breaks open the narrative of colonisation to offer sharp new perspectives on New Zealand history.

Bringing together essays from two decades of prolific publishing on international colonial history, Webs of Empire demonstrates why Tony Ballantyne is one of the most influential historians working in New Zealand today.

‘Admired by so many historians for his prescient metaphor of the “webs of empire”, here Tony Ballantyne strums the silken strands that bind New Zealand and New Zealanders to so many histories – so many more than we know or acknowledge.’

Damon Salesa, Associate Professor, Centre for Pacific Studies, University of Auckland

‘Webs of Empire demonstrates Tony Ballantyne’s archival richness and mastery of his profession, provoking new interpretations of history and of historians. This is compelling and essential reading.’

Lydia Wevers, Professor and Director of the Stout Research Centre, Victoria University of Wellington


Author information
Tony Ballantyne is a Professor of History at the University of Otago, where he is also Director of the Centre for Research on Colonial Culture.

His publications include Orientalism and Race (2002) and Between Colonialism and Diaspora (2006). He has edited or co-edited several volumes, including Disputed Histories: Imagining New Zealand’s Pasts (2006).

RRP$49.99 • 240 x 170 mm • 376 pages
ISBN 9781927131435 • Publication November 2012

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