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Visiting Lecturers bound for US

31 August 2006


Visiting Lecturers bound for US

Two leading New Zealand academics have been announced as 2007 Fulbright Visiting Lecturers in New Zealand Studies at Georgetown University’s Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies (CANZ – The Visiting Lectureships require participants to teach an introductory course in New Zealand Studies and allow them to pursue their own research while on campus at Georgetown University in Washington, DC.

Dr Thomas Ryan, Senior Lecturer in Anthropology at the University of Waikato’s Department of Societies and Culture, will teach a course entitled Te Moana Nui a Kiwa: New Zealand and the Pacific Islands during Georgetown University’s Fall semester from January until May. His course will cover the historical, cultural and political contexts and relationships within which New Zealand has, in recent decades, redefined itself as a ‘Pacific nation’.

Dr Ryan, a widely-published scholar who has held similar visiting academic positions in France, Australia and Hawai’i, first visited the US as an AFS exchange student to Lincoln High School in northern California in the late 1960s. “Ironically, the last place I visited that year was Washington, DC,” he recalls, “where on the morning after the first ever moon landing President Nixon spoke on the White House lawn to me and 3,000 other foreign students. To now return to the environs of that beautiful and important city is, for me, particularly serendipitous."

Dr Claudia Bell from the University of Auckland’s Department of Sociology will teach a course entitled New Zealand Society: People, Cultures, Environment during Georgetown University’s Spring semester from August until December. Her course will offer a sociological analysis of New Zealand today, with discussion of the historical events and processes that have shaped our society.

Dr Bell, author of numerous books and articles, will further use her time in the US to undertake research towards a book on international desert tourism and to interview expat New Zealanders for an ethnographic study about the rituals and practises they maintain while living in the US.

In taking up the 2007 Fulbright Visiting Lectureships at Georgetown, Drs Ryan and Bell will follow in the footsteps of esteemed New Zealand educators including historians Michael King and James Belich, poet Bill Manhire and playwright Roger Hall, all of whom have taught at CANZ. Dr Giselle Byrnes of Wellington is the current Visiting Lecturer, teaching an introductory course in New Zealand history for the university’s 2006 Fall semester.


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