Jared is an archivist, historian and writer based in Wellington. His work has appeared in The Guardian, Overland, History Workshop Journal, The Spinoff, Newsroom and other publications, while his recent book Dead Letters (Otago University Press, 2019) won the Bert Roth Award for Labour History and was longlisted for the 2020 Ockham New Zealand Book Award for General Non-Fiction. Through social biography and history from below, Jared explores the lives and struggles of working people often overlooked by traditional histories – from radicals of the early twentieth century to prison convicts of the nineteenth. You can find his work online at www.jared-davidson.com or on Twitter @anrchivist
For his next book (his residency project), Jared is diving into the world of prisoners and prison labour. Forced labour haunts the streets we walk and the spaces we take for granted, weaving its way through every major urban centre, across the pastured grasslands of heartland New Zealand and into Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa, the Pacific. Yet it is a story that is largely unknown. This new work aims to explore prison labour from the Church Missionary Society’s use of convicts in 1814 to the state prison farms of the 1920s.