James Beattie


environment, Asia, gardens, Japan, China, Philippines, animals, conservation

This special one-day symposium on the environment and nature of Asia took place on Saturday 2 September 2006, at the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.

The conference brought together an interdisciplinary team of scholars from New Zealand and overseas. Scholars of environmental history, garden history, literature, and history of science presented papers. These were (in order of presentation):

Associate-Professor Nanyan Guo (University of Otago)
Nature and Culture of the Ogasawara Islands

Catherine Knight (University of Canterbury)
“King of the Forest”, or “Fugitive of the Forest”? The Japanese relationship with the bear: past, present and future.

Dr. James Beattie (University of Otago)
Growing Chinese Influences in New Zealand: Chinese Gardens, Identity and Meaning in Dunedin and New Plymouth

Dr. James Beattie (University of Otago), J.M. Heinzen (Cambridge University) and John Adam (UNITEC)
Japanese Gardens and Plants in New Zealand, 1850-1950: Transcultural and Transmission

Dr. Jacob Edmond (University of Otago)
Yang Lian’s Auckland: A Psychogeographic Poetics

Associate Professor Greg Bankoff (Visiting Professor of Disaster Management, Coventry University and School of Asian Studies, University of Auckland)
The Science of Nature and the Nature of Science in the Nineteenth Century Philippines

Dr. Geoff Watson (Massey University)
Shifting Sands and Sweeping Steppes: Representations of Central Asian Environments in British Literature during the “Great Game” Era c. 1830-1914

Dr. Claire Brennan (James Cook University)
Nineteenth Century Animal Networks: Asia and Australasia

The following day a conference field trip was taken to explore the former site of Seacliffe Lunatic Asylum and pa site at Karitane.

More information on the conference can be found at the following website or by contacting Dr. Beattie.
Website: http://www.otago.ac.nz/humanities/research/clusters/asianz/envt_nature_symp.html#details
E-mail: [email protected]


The conference was proudly sponsored by the Asia:NZ Foundation, ‘Asia in New Zealand’ Research Cluster, University of Otago. It was also supported by the Department of History and Department of Music, University of Otago.


A Special Edition of the New Zealand Journal of Asian Studies to be edited by Dr. Beattie in June 2007 will be devoted to selected papers from this symposium, as well as those by invited contributors.