Lec­ture on the French con­nec­tion

Whanganui Midweek - - COMMUNITY LINK - By PAUL BROOKS

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.

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