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Significant Fellowships for New Zealand History Announced

Significant Fellowships for New Zealand History Announced


The Judith Binney Trust is proud to announce the Judith Binney Fellowships and Writing Awards – with a celebration in Wellington on 14 August. On that date, applications open for the inaugural 2019 Fellowship and Award see www.judithbinneytrust.org.nz

Dame Judith Binney / Te Tōmairangi o Te Aroha (1940–2011) was one of New Zealand’s most distinguished historians. In remarkable publications over four decades, she opened new pathways into this country’s complex and challenging past, one that placed different voices at the heart of the historical narrative, and wove together competing versions and conflicting truths.

The Judith Binney Fellowships and Awards support research and writing that will enrich our understanding of this South Pacific history – in the same spirit of scholarly rigour, courage, imagination and respect that Judith Binney’s writing demonstrated over so many years.

These significant new fellowships have been established from funds provided by the estates of the late Judith Binney, her husband Sebastian Black, and the parents of Judith Binney, Professor Sydney and Marjorie Musgrove.
The words of Judith Binney have informed the Trust’s vision for these Fellowships:
Storytelling is an art deep within human nature. … Stories are the essential way by which we expand our empathy and our imaginations; stories are the means by which we communicate across time and across cultures.
Received histories are the authoritative histories of a particular society. They are based in the constructions of the dominant society and its polity; in New Zealand they have emerged out of a relatively recent colonialist past and a scale of values that were once thought to be inclusive but which were in actuality blind to others’ experience.
Biographies are essentially personal histories… [yet] they may tell us more than the story of one life: they may reveal the struggle for the survival of an entire community.
If we who live in the present in Aotearoa can discuss our shared history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, then we may gain from the past. If we cannot do this, then we will have learnt nothing from the past and we will have exchanged nothing with each other.
In founding the Judith Binney Trust, Sebastian Black was aware of the significance of financial support for research and writing, and of the great value to scholars of time freed up for intellectual investigation and reflection. The Judith Binney Fellowships and Writing Awards offers these opportunities for established scholars and for emerging writers.

These independently funded fellowships stand alongside other significant fellowships such as the J D Stout Fellowships, and the James Cook Research Fellowships. But such opportunities are scarce in New Zealand, and the Judith Binney Trust acknowledges the foresight and generosity of Sebastian Black in enabling this important initiative.

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