05 Dec 2018

Wednesday 05 December 2018

Independent writer and Old Collegian Philip McKibbin (Major, 2001-05) has spent the last three weeks at King’s, working with both the Māori and English departments to help teach and observe lesson planning for next year. As a writer with a Master of Arts in Philosophy and a student of te reo Māori, Philip found the experience insightful and valuable in his learnings.

051218 grant and philip


“It has been a great experience returning to King's,” says Philip. “I'm grateful to Lincoln Savage and Rihari Wilson in the Māori Department and Sarah Currie and the English department. Of course, it has also been wonderful to spend more time with Dad (Grant McKibbin, Head of Positive Education)!”

Although a lot was very familiar for Philip, he did notice many changes while he was back, especially around the increase in the use of ICT.

“The most positive change, from my perspective, is that te reo Māori is now compulsory in Years 9 and 10. I think this is a tremendous development and one that wasn't on the radar when I was a student. The value of this is in exposing tomorrow's leaders to te ao Māori (the Māori world), which many of them might otherwise not engage with. My hope is that this will promote understanding and togetherness and help to ensure that these students become strong advocates for social justice in the future.”

In December, Philip will be heading to the University of Oxford for a conference that he is co-organising on the Politics of Love, which he first conceptualised with Max Harris in 2015.

“It is a values-based politics, which affirms the importance of people and extends beyond us to non-human animals and the natural environment. Max and I are bringing together thinkers and activists from diverse traditions to ask: what role, if any, should love play in politics? The aim is to give love, and the Politics of Love, a stronger intellectual foundation in the hope that this will enhance the work of those individuals and groups seeking to realise love in their communities. Next year, my book Love Notes: for a Politics of Love, a collection of essays on this emerging theory, will be published in the United States by Lantern Books.”