Skip to main content
Spring 2015 Newsletter

spring 2015 newsletter pic


Upcoming Lectures:

Inequality for All

Valis lecture





The Leslie Center for the Humanities
Dartmouth College
6240 Haldeman Center, Room 263
Hanover, NH 03755
Tel. 603-646-0896
Fax. 603-646-0998

Matariki Humanities Network

The Leslie Humanities Center is pleased to announce that, with support from the Office of the Provost, we will be participating in the Matariki Humanities Network that we launched as and pursuant to the meeting with our peer institutions that we hosted in September 2013 here in Hanover.  The Matariki Humanities Network will consist in its first phase of four annual meetings, each on a different area of humanities scholarship, and a fifth meeting to determine future themes and projects.  A full description of the project can be found below.



On September 9-10, Dartmouth hosted representatives from its Matariki partner institutions for a conference on "Research and the Humanities."  Over two days, we had a tremendously productive meeting of humanities scholars and librarians.  This was the first meeting of its kind, unique in its focus on advancing the humanities component of the Matariki network and in its paired focus on library research and resources.  We shared information on current best practices in humanities research and teaching, which reaffirmed the key role that the humanities play at the heart of these like-minded teacher-scholar institutions.

The gathering was not only oriented to discussing the status quo, but to articulating a shared approach to supporting humanities faculty, professionals and students at these institutions.  The Matariki network not only provides unique opportunities for cross-institutional and cross-disciplinary research, but also for thinking about individual disciplines in an international frame: how we approach for instance the study of American literature might differ significantly between the English-based institutions and the non- English based institutions.

We developed a plan for holding a series of colloquia that will enable scholars to share insights about the current state of their specific disciplines in an international setting, to make connections with other specialists in their fields, to examine the resources and best practices at other Matariki institutions, and to advance cutting-edge scholarship in the humanities.  These meetings will culminate in a larger exchange about the humanities as an engine of not only scholarly but also social innovation.

We identified the focus of each gathering based on our understanding of shared research strengths and interests of our faculty and our institutions.  We wish to organize the following colloquia:

For the first four colloquia, we wish to send three (3) faculty participants and one (1) librarian from each institution.  The faculty members will each present one paper, so each university's delegation will prepare papers on:

  • A look at the discipline as it is practiced at our specific institutions
  • A concrete example of research within that discipline
  • How our discipline produces scholarly education

Each university should identify a librarian dedicated to this discipline, and to supporting the discipline's relation to the Matariki network.  In addition to attending the discipline-specific colloquium, where the librarian will meet with his/her counterparts from the other institutions, the librarians individually and as a group will be charged with identifying scholarly resources in that area, and developing methods of information-sharing for Matariki scholars on research in this discipline.  The librarians will serve as liaisons not only to existing collections and resources, but will also be charged with identifying research projects that have or could have a collaborative component across the Matariki network.

The host institution will provide a moderator for the sessions, who is not her- or himself a presenter.  The moderator's job will be to attend the sessions, facilitate discussion, and write-up a synthesis of the conference proceedings.  That synthesis will be distributed electronically among the Matariki institutions, and perhaps on the web, as a record of the conference.  It should also be a mission statement that articulates further areas of scholarly innovation and possible collaboration within this discipline's contributions to the Matariki.

The fifth convening in 2018 in Uppsala, Sweden, has two purposes: to bring this inaugural phase of network development to a conclusion, and to develop a plan for the Matariki Humanities Network's next phases.  Present at these meetings should be four (4) people from each institution, namely:

  • One university administrator with Matariki decision-making power
  • The moderators from the previous colloquia
  • One humanities-based academic
  • One high-ranking librarian


The First Matariki Humanities Colloquium

Premodern Studies in the Matariki Network of Universities

Hosted by the Division of Humanities and the Library, University of Otago

December 8-10, 2014

On September 9-10, 2013, representatives of humanities and libraries from Matariki partner institutions met at the conference on Research and the Humanities hosted by Leslie Humanities Center and the Library at Dartmouth College.  The two-day event led to a plan for holding a series of colloquia that will enable scholars to share insights about the current state of their specific disciplines in an international setting, to make connections with other specialists in their fields, to examine the resources and best practices at other Matariki institutions, and to advance cutting-edge scholarship in the humanities.

The first Matariki Humanities colloquium aimed to bring researchers and librarians from the seven Matariki partner institutions in dialogue with one another about the current state of research and teaching in premodern studies: studies in the human life and thought before c.1800. There were two streams of sessions: one for academics who engage in premodern studies and the other for librarians.

In the academic stream, three academics represented each Matariki partner institution, each presenting a paper on one of the three key topics.  The papers were circulated prior to the Colloquium so that the session focused more on discussion than on presentations.

The academic stream discussed three key topics:

  1. The current state of the discipline as it is practiced at specific institutions
  2. Showcasing an example of research within that discipline
  3. How our discipline generate research-informed teaching

The library stream included senior executives and those involved with managing special collections and heritage resources from across the Matariki partner institutions. These sessions contained a practical component, with the sharing resources, expertise and experiences.

The library stream's key topics were:

  1. Library engagement models to support the disciple as its practiced
  2. Showcasing support for the humanities in the digital environment
  3. How the Library supports user centric approaches to collections

After the Colloquium, the University of Otago produced the conference proceedings which include all the papers and a synopsis of discussions in each session.

Last Updated: 1/12/15