Fiona McKergow

Doctor of Philosophy, (History)
Study Completed: 2020
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
Colonial Textile Culture in Mid-Nineteenth Century Aotearoa New Zealand

Colonial textile culture in the 19th century was both transnational and domestic. It spanned the circulation of commodities, cultures, and ideas throughout the British Empire and took on distinct patterns in relation to indigenous peoples in colonised territories. Ms McKergow used object-based methods to investigate textiles that belonged to British women who migrated to Aotearoa New Zealand in the mid-19th century. Close appraisal of the materials and their emotional and sensory properties was supported by extensive textual and pictorial evidence. From here, thematic and contextual paths were opened out, allowing her to position textile culture as an integral dimension of settler colonialism in Aotearoa New Zealand. Her findings demonstrate the possibilities associated with textile analysis in the field of colonial cultural history.

Associate Professor Geoff Watson
Professor Kerry Taylor
Associate Professor Bronwyn Labrum
Dr Peter Meihana