The lead researcher on the Marriage, Past and Present project is Dr. Angela Wanhalla who is a New Zealand historian based in the Department of History and Art History at the University of Otago. Angela arrived at Otago in September 2005. Before that she held a Canada Research Chair-funded Post-doctoral Fellowship in Native-Newcomer Relations at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Canada. She was based in the History Department at the U of S, and while there worked on a comparative project about Indigenous women’s experiences of reserve life in the Canadian West and Southern New Zealand. That project built upon and extended her doctoral research (University of Canterbury, Christchurch) which examined the history and experiences of one Kai Tahu community in Otago who lived on the Taieri Native Reserve. Angela’s doctoral and post-doctoral research centred on uncovering the histories of private life and intimacy within Indigenous communities, focusing in particular on intermarriage and its impact in the colonial period. At Otago, Angela has continued to investigate the history of intermarriage, private life and family, reflected in her two published books, both funded by a Royal Society of New Zealand Fast-Start Marsden Grant. These books are: In/visible Sight: The Mixed Descent Families of Southern New Zealand (Bridget Williams Books/Athabasca University Press, 2009) and Matters of the Heart: A History of Interracial Marriage in New Zealand (Auckland University Press, 2013), winner of the Ernest Scott Prize 2014 for most distinguished contribution to Australian and New Zealand history, or the history of colonisation. Angela is also co-director of the Centre for Research on Colonial Culture (CRoCC) at the University of Otago and co-manages that Centre’s blog and website. She also co-edits, with Professor Barbara Brookes, the New Zealand Journal of History, New Zealand’s leading academic history journal.
Emma Verry’s MA (2016) was funded by a scholarship attached to the project. She examined the evolution in the definition and practice of marriage in New Zealand between 1970, when the marriage rate was at its height and 2013, when the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Act was passed into law, thus bringing about marriage equality. In particular, she traced the development of human rights discourse in the marriage equality debate. Emma holds an LLB and a BA (Hons) First Class in History from the University of Otago, in addition to her MA (Distinction). She is now employed as a Graduate Analyst at the Ministry of Education in Wellington.
Lea Doughty is a research assistant on the Marriage, Past and Present project. She completed a BA (Hons) in History at the University of Otago in 2015. Her award-winning HIST 490 dissertation explored the evolution of marital expectations in early twentieth century New Zealand through the personal advertisement. Her dissertation is titled: 25 Words or Less: Marital Advertisements in New Zealand Newspapers, 1900-1935. In August 2016, Lea began her doctorate (Otago) on pharmacy and pharmacists during WWI.
Inano Walter holds a first class honours degree in History from the University of Otago. In March 2016 she began a MA thesis, funded by the Rutherford Discovery Fellowship, researching the effects of native land legislation and colonial marriage laws on Maori women’s customary property rights. Her thesis was submitted in March 2017 and Inano is now working on an article based on her MA.
Violeta Gilabert was employed as a research assistant in January and February 2016. She worked on the Making Women Visible Project, compiling a bibliography of publications in New Zealand women’s history since 1970. This bibliography will appear in print, in a forthcoming edited collection, Past Caring? Women, Work and Emotion. Violeta completed a BA (Hons) in History at the University of Otago in 2015. She began her doctoral studies in History, also at the University of Otago, in July 2016. Her PhD explores marriage and emotional labour in New Zealand, and is supported by a scholarship funded through the Rutherford Discovery Fellowship.