Lecture on the French connection
Samuel Drew started the first public museum in Whanganui and the Samuel Drew Lecture is an annual event hosted by the Whanganui Regional Museum.
This year’s presenter is Dr Kirsty Carpenter, Associate Professor of History at Massey University.
“The Samuel Drew Lecture is an academic lecture and we run it in November, as close to his birthday as possible,” says museum senior curator, Libby Sharpe. “Samuel Drew’s birthday is November 17. The idea is to look at new knowledge, especially that which relates to Whanganui.”
Dr Carpenter is a specialist in the French Revolution and the people who left France during the revolutionary and Napoleonic wars.
“This lecture is French history in New Zealand and Whanganui before World War I. It’s the localised French influence, and who knew there was so much?”
Topics to be covered in the lecture — La Difference — include:
What can we learn about New Zealand history from a mindfulness of French history, and the presence of FrancoBritish history in Whanganui?
Why do New Zealanders not feel more connected to France, where so much of their European heritage was played out?
Why has France been the dark horse of New Zealand colonial narrative?
“Our overseas history is so British oriented, but there’s lots of influence from the French if you just stop and think about it,” says Libby.
“Kirsty is the sort of professor who takes her students out into the community and she runs the Massey lecture series in Whanganui every year.”
The lectures celebrate the museum’s founder, says Libby. “This is the fourth one and they’ve been consistently good, and we’ve had consistently a really good turnout.” ■ The Samuel Drew Lecture, Friday, November 16, 5.30pm, Davis Lecture Theatre Watt St. Free entry with wine and juice are available.
Samuel Drew, founder of the Whanganui Regional Museum.
Dr Kirsty Carpenter presents the 2018 Samuel Drew Lecture.