James Courage : His Life and Diaries – a talk by Professor Chris Brickell

12 November 2020 5:30pm

Chris's edited volume of James Courage's diaries will be published by Otago University Press in mid-2021. He discusses getting to know the expatriate New Zealander by reading his remarkably rich life writing. Whilst much has been written about Courage as a gay author,  other elements have been somewhat overlooked: his consummate skill in describing landscapes of war and travel; wry takes on his acquaintances' foibles; his active engagement with the cultural life of mid-twentieth-century London. Chris will draw from Courage's diaries and other materials as he speaks about this complicated and engaging writer.


  • Thursday 12 November at 5:30pm
  • Hocken Library, 90 Anzac Avenue, Dunedin
  • All welcome, free of charge
  • For further details phone (03) 479 8972, or check the Hocken website at www.otago.ac.nz/hocken


A display of material from the Hocken Collections relating to James Courage will open in the Hocken Library foyer on Monday 9th November.


Chris is the author of such works as:


  • Teenagers: The rise of youth culture in New Zealand. Auckland, New Zealand: Auckland University Press, 2017
  • Mates & lovers: A history of gay New Zealand. Auckland, New Zealand: Random House, 2008
  • Queer objects. Dunedin, New Zealand: Otago University Press, 2019 (as editor, with Judith Collard)

Courage Day (also called International Day of the Imprisoned Writer) is observed on the 15th of November each year. Courage Day, named after author James Courage, recognises writers who defend the right to free speech, and those who suffer oppression and are killed/imprisoned for their work.

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