Redmond, Dr. Anthony, U. of Sydney, Sydney, Australia - To aid research and writing on 'The Implications of Ngarinyin Body Imagery for Understanding Kin-Based Personhood' - Richard Carley Hunt Fellowship
DR. ANTHONY REDMOND, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia, was awarded a Richard Carley Hunt Fellowship in July 2003 to aid research on writing on 'The Implications of Ngarinyin Body Imagery for Understanding Kin-Based Personhood.' Additional fieldwork supplemented existing ethnographic data from five years of previous fieldwork with Ngarinyin people in the Northern Kimberley. Interviews with neighboring Gija people, with whom Ngarinyin people engage in exchange relationships, focused in detail the upon the local wurnan exchange system and the transmissions of works of local composers in the junba tradition. Comparisons were drawn out between these types of exchanges and the more mundane sharing of resources within the same inter-clan and inter- familial networks. The period spent discussing these issues with the neighbors of the Ngarinyin, in particular Gija people at Yulumbu, opened up new perspectives on this question while simultaneously observing the kinds of internal conflicts created over ownership of dreamt materials when a senior custodian of the songs has died. The literature component of the research was directed towards overcoming the more positivist positions current in Australian studies by drawing upon the rich legacy of Melanesianist studies of the person and the sociality of exchange. The research also sought to clarify how the social reproduction of the person draws sustenance from the realm of the dead while simultaneously asserting the agency of living persons.
O'Brien, Aoife Sara, U. of East Anglia, Norfolk, UK - To aid research on 'Colonial Collections, Indigenous Experiences: Exploring Social Transformations in the Solomon Islands through Museum Collections, 1896-1914,' supervised by Dr. Steven J. P. Hooper
AOIFE O'BRIEN, then a student at University of East Anglia, Norfolk, United Kingdom, received funding in April 2008 to aid research on 'Colonial Collections, Indigenous Experiences: Exploring Social Transformations in the Solomon Islands through Museum Collections, 1896-1914,' supervised by Dr. Steven J. P. Hooper. This research project examines the museum collections of Charles Morris Woodford (1852-1927), an amateur naturalist and first Resident Commissioner to the Solomons, and Arthur Mahaffy (1869-1919), the first District Officer of the region. It examines how, following the establishment of the British Solomon Islands Protectorate (BSIP) in 1893, transformations occurred in Solomons cultural traditions and society, transformations that are visible in the material culture record. Object analysis (conceived widely to include ethnographic artefacts, texts, and photographs) can elucidate the micro-histories, particularly muted indigenous experiences, embodied in museum collections. Research was undertaken at several institutions in Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji to examine archive material and museum collections associated with Woodford, Mahaffy, and the BSIP. This research has assisted in gaining a fuller understanding of both men's positions in the Solomons and the extent of networks of collecting and cross-cultural interactions in which objects were gathered. Information obtained from each institution granted further insights into the nature of encounters and exchanges between Europeans and Solomon Islanders during the formative years of the BSIP, and has complemented and enriched the research already completed in the UK and Ireland.
Rio, Dr. Knut, Bergen U. Museum, Bergen, Norway - To aid 9th European Society for Oceanists (ESfO) conference on 'The Power of the Pacific: Values, Materials, Images,' 2012, Bergen, in collaboration with Dr. Edvard Hviding
'The 9Th Conference of the European Society for Oceanists (ESfO)'
December 5-8, 2012, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
Organizers: Dr. Knut Rio (Bergen U. Museum) and Dr. Evard Hviding (U. Bergen)
The ESfO conference (organized by the Bergen Pacific Research Group at the University of Bergen, under the supervision of the ESfO board) welcomed approximately 180 participants from most European countries, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Marquesas Islands, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia, and Tonga. The conference theme - The Power of the Pacific: Values, Materials, Images - proved its potential for generating wide interest. Over the course of four days, the uniqueness and diversity of the Pacific region was debated, explored and celebrated in twenty-one sessions. Conference participants addressed such dimensions as the power of resources; the power of land; the power of the church; the power of social networks; the power of youth; the power of resistance; the power of the internet; the power of museums; the power of academia; the power of change; the power of climate; the power of language; and, ultimately, the power of Pacific peoples. The meeting amounted to a demonstration not only of power as such, but also of wealth, creativity, human engagement, and alternative future orientations to contemporary global challenges, of which it is important to give the wider world more than just a glimpse.
Nason, Patrick Francis, Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Sovereignty Submerged: The Politics of Presence in the Bismarck Archipelago,' supervised by Dr. Paige West
Preliminary abstract: In what the Obama Administration heralds as 'The Pacific Century,' the largest ocean on Earth is being claimed by sovereign governments and extractive industry. While the state of Papua New Guinea and an undersea mining corporation have claimed the remote depths of the Bismarck Sea, the beings within remain outside the grasp of state surveillance and international regulation. Responding to this politicization of the deep frontier, fishing communities, conservation scientists, and dive tourists in the Bismarck Archipelago are attempting to preserve their particular forms of engagement with marine nature by articulating their own claims to oceanic space. Through material technologies and sociocultural techniques, each can 'inhabit' the depths of the sea, though representing such presence in a way that is widely audible requires the ability to transcend conceptual, physiological, and socioeconomic barriers. By representing enduring cultural practices alongside scientific and recreational articulations of presence onto a multicultural map of the Bismarck Sea, this project proposes a political ecology of 'deep space' while challenging the logical binaries of nature/culture, space/place, and human/animal. Drawing from arguments in environmental anthropology, indigenous political critique, and Pacific cultural studies, I address the broad question of how human culture exists in spaces where human nature cannot.
Halvaksz, Jamon A., U. of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN - To aid research on 'Global Desires, Local Debates: Evaluating Conservation and Development in the Wau-Bulolo Valley, Papua New Guinea,' supervised by Dr. Kathleen Barlow
Halvaksz, Jamon. 2006. Cannibalistic Imaginaries: Mining the Natural and Social Body in Papua New Guinea. The Contemporary Pacific 18(2):335-359.
Halvaksz, Jamon. 2010. The Photographic Assemblage: Duration, History and Photography in Papua New Guinea. Anthropology and History 21(4):411-429.
Zadnik, Laurel, U. of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada - To aid research on 'Converting to Mormonism in Madang, Papua New Guinea: Self, Kinship, and Community,' supervised by Dr. Sandra C. Bamford
LAUREL ZADNIK, then a student at the University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, received funding in August 2004 to aid research on 'Converting to Mormonism in Madang, Papua New Guinea: Self, Kinship, and Community,' supervised by Dr. Sandra C. Bamford. Field research was carried out from October 2004 to October 2005 and explored the sociocultural implications of the growth of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (commonly known as the Mormon or 'LDS' Church) in Papua New Guinea. The project focused on the multiple ways that LDS Church members in Papua New Guinea have altered their discourses and practices of self, kinship and community. The data collected from this project will be used to contribute to debates on religious conversion processes, as well as 'modernity' and globalization issues.
Kennedy, Jack Lyle Cedric, U. of Western Ontario, London, Canada - To aid research on 'In the Shadows of Frieda: Place-Making, Mining, Marginality, and Identity in Rural Papua New Guinea,' supervised by Dr. Dan William Jorgensen
Preliminary abstract: Papua New Guinea's economy depends on resource extraction projects such as the Frieda River Project (FRP) in Sandaun Province. These projects dot the landscape with mining enclaves, providing opportunities for income and services and the possibility of overcoming the marginality of rural communities. This research project explores how processes of place-making at a site of global-local interaction shape social relations at different scales. The research will address how the mining enclave affects local conceptualizations of place and social relations; how local people imagine themselves in the world; and how local people manage their marginality. Research will take place in villages which are in close proximity to the FRP. Methods include participant observation, semi-structured interviews, collecting genealogies and life histories, and the production of maps and other representations in order to understand experiential dimensions of place and how people imagine the wider world and their location within it. This project will contribute to the literature on place and identity and the study of the cultural effects of globalization, as well as making a practical contribution to the anthropology of development and transnational capitalism by providing insight regarding the social significance of global connections in rural areas.
Sweetman, Lauren Elizabeth, New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Healing Maori(ness): Music, Politics, and Forensic Mental Health,' supervised by Dr. David Samuels
LAUREN E. SWEETMAN, then a graduate student at New York University, New York, New York, received a grant in April 2012 to aid research on 'Healing Maori(ness): Music, Politics, and Forensic Mental Health,' supervised by Dr. David Samuels. During the tenure of this award, the grantee completed fourteen months of ethnographic, community-engaged field research in Auckland, Aotearoa/New Zealand. Research focused primarily on the Mason Clinic's Te Papak?inga O T?ne Whakapiripiri unit, a secure forensic psychiatric facility for criminal offenders with mental health issues. Run 'by M?ori for M?ori,' this unit offers an explicitly indigenous paradigm of healing that marries Western clinical frameworks with intensive cultural programming, where music, spirituality, and language are utilized as integral aspects of treatment. Here, the grantee worked intensively alongside the cultural team as they implemented their programming, participating in the programming as well as the daily life of the unit, and monitoring the experiences of the patients as they advanced in their rehabilitation. Overall, approximately 100 interviews were conducted with participants representing the various stakeholders in this project: patients, cultural advisors and elders, psychiatrists, psychologists, consumer advocates, occupational therapists, social workers, and all levels of management; as well as experts with relevant experience in the fields of criminal justice, health, and M?ori culture. All interviews were designed and implemented in collaboration with the Taumata (cultural advisory board) at Mason Clinic, a partnership that will continue in all subsequent stages of this project.
Potts, Rowena Hildreth, New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Mediating Difference: Televisual Sovereignty and the Politics of Documentary Production for National Indigenous Television (NITV) in Australia,' supervised by Dr. Faye Ginsburg
Preliminary abstract: My dissertation examines documentary production for National Indigenous Television (NITV), the only national television network devoted exclusively to broadcasting media content made by, for, and about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. I focus on Indigenous documentary production at NITV as a media practice implicated in the production of social categories, relations, and persons. At a time of critical shifts in cultural policy, my project investigates whether the political climate of the contemporary Australian state - increasingly hostile to expressions of Indigenous self-determination and difference - might be informing the work of an emerging generation of Indigenous cultural producers as they negotiate local and institutional regimes of value to participate in a dispersed field of Indigenous cultural production. How are claims for Indigenous televisual sovereignty and expressions of a distinctive Indigenous aesthetic reflected and reformulated in the social, discursive, and practical work of documentary filmmaking for broadcast on NITV? I locate my study at the NITV headquarters in Sydney, and in regional and remote locations where documentary production takes place. By grounding my ethnographic fieldwork and participant-observation in the sites and activities where novice Indigenous filmmakers are acquiring the practical skills and expert knowledge necessary to objectify their lifeworlds for television, I examine how projects of representation are socialized, contested, and transformed in concrete media practices, the ways in which they are implicated in the production of 'indigeneity' as a subject position, a cultural category, and a media imaginary.