James Belich is one of New Zealand’s foremost historians. He is currently based at Oxford where he is Beit Professor of Imperial and Commonwealth History.
His early work examined the history of New Zealand in a global context. His books include a two-volume history of New Zealand, Making Peoples (1996) and Paradise Reforged (2001), as well as the bestselling The New Zealand Wars (1986), which won a New Zealand Book Award, the Trevor Reese Memorial Prize, and became a television documentary series.
More recently, Belich has turned to the comparative history of settler societies and their relations with indigenous peoples, an interest which produced Replenishing the Earth: The Settler Revolution and the Rise of the Anglo-world. Published in 2011 this work has been described as “astonishing” (History Today), “exhilarating and provocative reading” (IHR) and “original and intelligent” (Times Higher Education Supplement).
In May 2017 Professor Belich visited University College Dublin where he gave a lecture as part of the SouthHem seminar series. Funded by the European Research Council and based at UCD, SouthHem is a five-year (2016-2021) comparative study of the wide range of literary outputs and mediating institutions produced in the Southern Hemisphere and Straits Settlements from 1780-1870.
Professor Belich’s lecture – Connectivity, Globalisation, and Divergence over Five Millennia: An Approach to Global History – was recorded and is now available as a podcast on History Hub. The lecture was introduced by Assoc. Prof. William Mulligan from UCD School of History.
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