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Negotiated and Mediated Lives: Bolivian teachers, New Zealand missionaries and the Bolivian Indian Mission, 1908–1932

  • Hugh Morrison


This article places missionary education squarely at the centre of any consideration of European expansion in the modern era. It focuses more specifically on the place of local teachers in Bolivia and their relationship with one evangelical Protestant mission, the Bolivian Indian Mission, which originated in New Zealand in the early 1900s. It takes a non-metropole and a “multi-sited” approach to missions and education. It argues that what we know about Bolivian teachers was mediated through the missionary voice and that these teachers negotiated their lives within a particular missionary space, in which there operated a number of intersecting influences from other sites within the wider imperial or Western network. It aims to both reclaim the identities of Bolivian teachers (focusing on teachers’ identity and function) and to reflect critically on intrinsic methodological and conceptual issues (emphasizing the nature of sources, missionary discourse, the resulting status of Bolivian teachers, and Bolivian agency).



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Hugh Morrison is a senior lecturer in the College of Education at the University of Otago and a research associate in the History programme at the University of Waikato, New Zealand. He researches and writes on a mixture of New Zealand and British world religious history, with a dual emphasis on missions and childhood. He gratefully acknowledges the help of Dr Tim Geysbeek and staff at the SIM International Resource Centre, Fort Mill, South Carolina, USA (2014) and of Sue Whitehead at the Biola University Archives, Los Angeles, California, USA (2014); and of Bob and Marcia Arnold in an earlier visit to the SIM archives (2001).



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Primary Sources
Bolivian Indian Mission, SIM International Archives, Fort Mill, South Carolina, USA [BIM]
Bolivian Indian Mission News and Report, 1910
Bolivian Indian Mission Provisional Field Committee Minutes, 1913–1918
Bolivian Indian Mission Field Committee Minutes, 1918–1923
Bolivian Indian Mission Field Council Minutes, 1923–1936
Bolivian Indian Mission Miscellaneous Documents (Box 9)
Horace and Ada Grocott, Bolivian Indian Mission Diary, 1909–1914
Minutes of the New Zealand Council of the Bolivian Indian Mission, 1908–1916
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Negotiated and Mediated Lives: Bolivian teachers, New Zealand missionaries and the Bolivian Indian Mission, 1908–1932

  • Hugh Morrison


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