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Disrupting Dominant Identities Network (DDIN) Love and politics: Rethinking biculturalism and multiculturalism in Aotearoa-New Zealand

September 18 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Speaker: Lincoln Dam, University of Auckland


Biculturalism and multiculturalism are often conceptualised as antagonistic, incompatible and competing frameworks in Aotearoa-New Zealand. Consequently, a formal policy of multiculturalism remains absent while the state operates an official policy of biculturalism, predicated on the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi between Indigenous Māori and the British Crown. In this seminar, I make a case for the simultaneous pursuit and co-existence of biculturalism and multiculturalism in Aotearoa-New Zealand. I begin by tracing some debates that frame contesting bicultural and multicultural positions. I then offer a philosophical response to the ethical-political dilemmas posed by such debates, reflecting on the complexities of my own position as an Aotearoa-New Zealand-born Chinese-Thai within a bicultural national framework. I do not outline a prescription for simply harmonious bicultural and multicultural relations. Instead my response entails a leap of faith from the familiar to the discomforts of a more partial, contested and uncertain territory that lies beyond the horizon.


Lincoln Dam identifies as a New Zealander of Chinese and Thai ethnicities. He is a philosopher and Professional Teaching Fellow in Te Puna Wānanga, the School of Māori and Indigenous Education at the University of Auckland. Lincoln’s current work brings Eastern and Māori thought into dialogue with the ethical-political philosophies of Emmanuel Levinas and Jacques Derrida.

Venue: Your University videoconference room or your desktop

  • University of Auckland: Arts 1 Room 510
  • Victoria University of Wellington: RB901
  • University of Canterbury: please book through your assist booking system https://assist.canterbury.ac.nz/selfservice/
  • Waikato University: Please contact your IT Helpdesk to book.
  • Massey University: Turitea, Library 2.45; Albany, 1.22A; Wellington, 5E25
  • Otago University: please join from your desktop

From your desktop the Zoom link is https://otago.zoom.us/j/291448736

Register:              Use the Register Now button below or please email Melanie Milicich m.milicich@auckland.ac.nz stating the seminar and venue in the subject line of the email.

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September 18
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
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Avril Bell
09 923 6619