Beatson, Peter

Beatson, Peter

Information

residence
Manawatu-Whanganui

In Brief

Peter Beatson is a literary critic and sociologist. He was a lecturer in sociology at Massey University from 1978 to 2006, and he has done ground-breaking work in the areas of health and disability, literature and the arts, and human-animal studies. Beatson has received a range of awards, and he was chosen as the President of Honour of the New Zealand Society of Authors in 2004.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Beatson, Peter (1942 – ) is a literary critic and sociologist. Born in Christchurch and educated at Canterbury University, he has doctorates in English literature and sociology from Cambridge University and the University of Provence. He was appointed a lecturer in sociology at Massey University in 1978 and retired as Associate Professor in 2006.

Beatson has done ground-breaking work in the three separate areas of literature and the arts, of disability, and of human-animal studies. His 1976 The Eye in the Mandala was the first full-length thematic study of the Australian novelist Patrick White. The Healing Tongue (1989) remains one of this country’s few overviews of contemporary Maori literature. In 1994, he and Dianne Beatson co-authored a pioneering work on the sociology of New Zealand literature and the arts, The Arts in Aotearoa New Zealand. In the same year the Beatsons published a cross-cultural survey of artistic links between Japan and New Zealand entitled The Crane and the Kotuku, on which a large exhibition at the Palmerston North art gallery was based. His main occupation in retirement is a thematic study of the New Zealand novelist Maurice Gee.

In 1977, Beatson was the founding editor of the cross-cultural literary journal Fountains in Aix-en-Provence, and in 1995 he founded and edited the New Zealand Journal of Disability Studies. The next year, he was the recipient of the inaugural Blind Achievers Award for academic work from the New Zealand Foundation for the Blind. In 2001, he and his wife, Dianne, created the annual Foxton Fellowship for New Zealand authors. Beatson received an award from the Massey University School of Humanities and Social Sciences for excellence in teaching in 2002, and in 2004 he was chosen as the President of Honour of the New Zealand Society of Authors.

Beatson lives in Palmerston North.

Publications by Beatson include: The eye in the mandala: Patrick White: a vision of man and God. London: Elek/New York : Barnes & Noble Books, 1976.

The healing tongue : themes in contemporary Maori literature. Palmerston North, New Zealand: Sociology Dept., Massey University, 1989.

Chinese New Zealanders = Xin xi lan hua rea[ren]. (Co-author.) Auckland, New Zealand: Heinemann Education, 1990.

The arts in Aotearoa, New Zealand : themes and issues. (Co-author.) Palmerston North, New Zealand: Sociology Dept., Massey University, 1994.

The crane and the kotuku : artistic bridges between New Zealand and Japan. (Co-author.) Palmerston North, New Zealand: Manawatu Art Gallery, 1994.

The sociology of disability : a social map of disability in Aotearoa New Zealand. Palmerston North: Massey University. Dept. of Sociology, 1996.

Dear Peggy: letters to Margaret Garland from her New Zealand friends. (Co-author.) Palmerston North, New Zealand: Sociology Department, Massey University, 1997.

The disability revolution in New Zealand: a social model. Palmerston North, New Zealand: Sociology Programme, School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work, Massey University, 2004.

Art New Zealand index 1-100. (Co-author.) Palmerston North, New Zealand: D & P Beatson, 2004.

MEDIA LINKS AND CLIPS

Updated January 2017.