This pair of boots belonged to historian Dame Judith Binney, who will be remembered for her monumental contributions to New Zealand history over the last four decades through her writing, research and teaching.
These boots were the historian’s favourites, and had a colourful history of their own. The question is: who will fill them now, after her untimely death last month?
Judith Binney was an important figure in my own pursuit of history. In 1994, I was a student in a history paper that she taught at Auckland University. The course was about colonial encounters in Mexico and Peru. Her lectures were totally absorbing; the entire class was transfixed by Judy’s charismatic presence and presentation of the past. She did not chronicle conquest but highlighted survival, resilience and individual agency. Her approach opened new historical vistas for me and, as a result, I was hooked on history.
Tomorrow, Te Papa will commemorate Dame Judith’s life and her significant contributions to New Zealand history.
Further details about the commemoration are on Te Papa’s website.
Read more about Judith Binney’s life in a blog on Te Ara by Jock Phillips.