For anyone unfamiliar with how a LIANZA Conference works (or conferences in general really) you get the “rock star” big names as Keynote speakers and then you get the still awesome but not quite as high profile “invited speakers”.  This year the folk that we’ve invited have knowledge and experience covering a wide range of areas and we think you’ll be interested and inspired by what they have to say.

Dr Chris Brickell – A Senior Lecturer in the Department of Anthropology, Gender & Sociology at Otago University and his book Mates & Lovers: A History of Gay New Zealand was a finalist in this year’s Montana Book Awards.  During conference he will speak about his experience using libraries and archives to research this book.  What were the challenges and successes in this process?  How can we ensure that researchers continue to have access to invaluable material like this?  For more on Chris check out –

Denis Dutton – A native Californian, Denis Dutton is currently a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Canterbury.  Oftentimes there is a adversarial relationship between the humanities (or art) and science.  People and ideas are often slotted into one class or the other. Denis turns this on its head in his recent book The Art instinct: Beauty, Pleasure, and Human Evolution. His session at conference will concentrate on how the Darwinian theories of evolutionary science can actually help explain what human beings find compelling in music, art and literature.  Perhaps bringing the eggheads and the artists together?  Is appreciation of art really a product of evolution?  For more on Denis check out –

John McIntyre – What John McIntyre doesn’t know about children’s literature probably isn’t worth knowing.  Formerly a primary school teacher both here and in the UK, the owner of the award-winning Children’s Bookshop has been a judge of the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards and  is one of the leading voices in children’s literature in New Zealand.  John has been the children’s book reviewer on Nine to Noon on Radio New Zealand since 2003, and has been a Board Director of Booksellers N.Z. for 6 years.

Are there any “tricks of the trade” that John can pass on to librarians?  You bet there are.  For more on John check out –

Bill Nagelkerke – Another very knowledgeable person on the topic of young people’s literature, is Bill Nagelkerke.  As both a writer and former librarian Bill has had the honour of being a judge for The Hans Christian Andersen Awards administered by IBBY (The International Board on Books for Young People) not once but twice.  At conference Bill will discuss the awards, the nominees and his involvement (and as an aside, having worked with him I can attest to the fact that he’s a very lovely chap).  For more on Bill check out –

Nat Torkington – Nat chaired the O’Reilly Open Source Convention and other O’Reilly conferences for over a decade. He ran the first website in New Zealand, co-wrote the best-selling Perl Cookbook, and was one of the founding O’Reilly Radar bloggers.  Nat will be familiar to Webstock attendees as he presented in both 2008 and 2009.  He lives in Leigh and consults in the Asia-Pacific region and plays the banjo.  Nat will be discussing copyright during his conference session this year, a very interesting topic considering the recent resurrection of the 92A section of the Copyright Act.  For more on Nat check out –

Ursula Cheer – Ursula is an Associate Professor with the School of Law at Canterbury University and has had a long and illustrious career including such highlights as speech writer to the Minister of Justice, legal advisor to the Prime Minister and as a Senior Legal Advisor to the Lord Chancellor, in the UK Law Commission.  So it’s safe to say she knows the ins and outs of things legal, in fact it was she who laid the complaint against TV3’s Campbell Live that got them told off by the BSA regarding their “interview” with one of the Waiouru medal thieves.  Unsurprisingly her current area of interest is Media Law and she has co-authored Media Law in New Zealand (5th ed).  Ursula also regularly discusses media law issues on Radio New Zealand.  At this year’s LIANZA Conference she presents a session on Copyright with Nat Torkington.  For more on Ursula check out –

So there you have it, a terrific line-up of super-smart, interesting, informed people.  Additional information on each speaker(and photos) available at the LIANZA Conference website.