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James Belich (historian)

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Nationality  New Zealander
Fields  History
Residence  Oxford, United Kingdom
Role  Historian
Name  James Belich

James Belich (historian) httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu
Alma mater  Victoria University of Wellington Oxford University
Notable awards  ONZM Prime Minister's Awards for Literary Achievement 2010
Education  Onslow College, Victoria University of Wellington, University of Oxford
Books  Replenishing the Earth: The Settl, Making peoples, Paradise reforged, The New Zealand Wars and, I Shall Not Die: Titokowar

James belich 7x7

James Christopher Belich, ONZM (born 1956), is a New Zealand historian, known for his work on the New Zealand Wars and on New Zealand history more generally. One of his major works on the 19th-century clash between Māori and Pākehā, the revisionist study The New Zealand Wars (1986), was also published in an American edition and adapted into a television series and DVD.


Since 2013 Belich has been the Beit Professor of Imperial and Commonwealth History and as the Director of the Oxford Centre for Global History at the University of Oxford.


Of Croatian descent, he was born in Wellington in 1956, the son of Sir Jim Belich, who later became Mayor of Wellington. He attended Onslow College.

He gained an M.A. in history at Victoria University before being awarded a Rhodes Scholarship in 1978 and travelling to Oxford to complete his D.Phil at Nuffield College.

Academic career

He lectured at Victoria University of Wellington for several years before moving to the University of Auckland. In 2007 he was appointed Professor of History at the Stout Research Centre for New Zealand Studies at Victoria University.

The New Zealand Wars (1986) was based on his DPhil thesis, and won the international Trevor Reese Memorial Prize. It was later turned into a major documentary series for Television New Zealand.

I Shall Not Die': Titokowaru's War (1990), based on his MA thesis, was also highly praised, winning the Adam Award for New Zealand literature.

Belich has written a two-volume work A History of the New Zealanders, consisting of Making Peoples (1996) and Paradise Reforged (2001).

Belich was made an Officer of New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2006 Queen's Birthday Honours List for service to historic research.

He expanded his area of research to colonial societies in general and the place of settler colonialism in world history with Replenishing the earth (2009).

In 2011 Belich was appointed Beit Professor of Commonwealth History at Oxford University.

Awards and honours

  • 2011 Prime Minister's Awards for Literary Achievement
  • Works

  • Titokowaru's War and Its Place in New Zealand's History. MA Thesis. Victoria University of Wellington, 1979.
  • New Zealand Wars 1845-1870: An Analysis of Their History and Interpretation. 1982. PhD Thesis. Nuffield College/Oxford University
  • I Shall Not Die: Tītokowaru’s war, New Zealand, 1868-9. Bridget Williams Books, 1993. ISBN 0-04-614022-0
  • Making Peoples: A History of the New Zealanders from Polynesian Settlement to the End of the Nineteenth Century. Penguin, 2007. ISBN 978-0-14-300704-3
  • The New Zealand Wars and the Victorian Interpretation of Racial Conflict. Auckland University Press, 1986. ISBN 1-86940-002-X
  • Paradise Reforged: A History of the New Zealanders from the 1880s to the Year 2000. University of Hawai’i Press, 2001. ISBN 0-8248-2542-X
  • Replenishing the Earth: The Settler revolution and the rise of the Anglo-world, 1783-1939. Oxford University Press, 2009. ISBN 9780199297276
  • References

    James Belich (historian) Wikipedia

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