The Melanesian World: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Melanesian World

1st Edition

Edited by Eric Hirsch, Will Rollason

Routledge

578 pages | 40 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138693715
pub: 2019-05-01
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Description

This wide-ranging volume captures the diverse range of societies and experiences that form what has come to be known as Melanesia. It covers prehistoric, historic and contemporary issues, and includes work by art historians, political scientists, geographers and anthropologists. The chapters range from studies of subsistence, ritual and ceremonial exchange to accounts of state violence, new media and climate change. The ‘Melanesian world’ assembled here raises questions that cut to the heart of debates in the human sciences today, with profound implications for the ways in which scholars across disciplines can describe and understand human difference. This impressive collection of essays represents a valuable resource for scholars and students alike.

Reviews

"This is the remarkable kind of book that, if we’re lucky, comes around once in a generation and lays a whole new foundation for a venerable field of study. Creative in conception and comprehensive in coverage, this is now the first place to turn to for orientation in the study of Melanesia."

Joel Robbins, University of Cambridge, UK

"A marvellously eclectic, yet thoroughly comprehensive and readable collection, offering an invaluable source on past and present Melanesia. Its diverse chapters represent a valuable collection of interdisciplinary approaches that distil the wisdom, insights and collective expertise of the best scholars on this exciting region, as they trace the evolving and challenging relationships between land, people, culture and ideology."

John Connell, University of Sydney, Australia

"The Melanesian World is a real smorgasbord of enticing and distinctive perspectives on what it means to be Melanesian. The chapters range from up-to-date pieces of reference to thought provoking interventions. This makes the work unique and equally useful to those looking for detailed information about the region as much as those seeking theoretical inspiration for the study of human diversity."

Ton Otto, Aarhus University, Denmark

"The Melanesian World is encyclopaedic, cultural, historical, contemporary and reflective. It has been several decades since such an important book on Melanesia has been published."

Clive Moore, University of Queensland, Australia

Table of Contents

List of figures

List of tables

List of contributors

Preface

Maps of the region and its language groups

1 Introduction: the challenge of Melanesia - Eric Hirsch and Will Rollason

PART I: HISTORICAL CONTEXT

2 The archaeology of Melanesia - Glenn Summerhayes

3 Melanesia: a region and a history - Max Quanchi

4 Missionaries in the Melanesian world - John Barker

PART II: GEO-POLITICAL, LINGUISTIC AND REGIONAL OVERVIEWS

5 Geo-political overview of Melanesia - Stewart Firth

6 Melanesia as a zone of language diversity - Alan Rumsey

7 Regional overview: from diversity to multiple singularities - Jaap Timmer

PART III: ECONOMY AND LIVELIHOOD

8 Subsistence food production in Melanesia - R.M. Bourke

9 Class, labour and consumption in urban Melanesia - Lorena Gibson

10 Money schemes in contemporary Melanesia - John Cox

11 Cash crops and markets - Timothy L.M. Sharp and Mark Busse

12 Searching for Melanesian urbanity - Michael Goddard

PART IV: GOVERNMENT, POLITICS AND PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS

13 Sovereignty, civil conflict and ethnicity - Matthew G. Allen

14 Local government and politics: forms and aspects of authority - Steffen Dalsgaard

15 Security governance in Melanesia: police, prisons and crime - Sinclair Dinnen

16 Gender relations and human rights in Melanesia - Martha Macintyre

17 Health, institutions and governance in Melanesia - Alice Street

18 Owning the law in Melanesia - Melissa Demian and Benedicta Rousseau

PART V: RELIGION, CHURCH, RITUAL AND EXCHANGE PRACTICES

19 ‘Witchcraft’ and ‘sorcery’ in Melanesia - Knut Rio

20 Charismatic churches, revivalism and new religious movements - Annelin Eriksen and Michelle MacCarthy

21 Cargo cult post mortem - Lamont Lindstrom

22 Big men, ceremonial exchange and life-cycle events - Keir Martin

23 Interpreting initiation in Melanesia: past and present - Pascale Bonnemère

PART VI: ART, MATERIAL CULTURE AND CULTURAL HERITAGE

24 Museums and cultural centres in Melanesia: a series of experiments - Lissant Bolton

25 Creation and destruction in Melanesian material culture - Anna-Karina Hermkens

26 Contemporary art in Melanesia: from grassroots to national identity? - Eva Ch. Raabe

27 Melanesian worlds of music and dance - Michael Webb

28 The Melanesian world of paradise tourism: reflections on time, travel and cultural performance - John P. Taylor

PART VII: DEVELOPMENT AND RESOURCES

29 Places and paths in Melanesian landscapes - Borut Telban

30 Extractive industries in Melanesia - Glenn Banks

31 Climate change in the islands and the highlands: Melanesian manifestations, experiences and actions - Edvard Hviding and Camilla Borrevik

32 Western conservation in Melanesia: biodiversity conservation - for whom, by whom, and according to whom? - Bridget M. Henning

33 New media, new Melanesia? - Geoffrey Hobbis

34 Afterword - Marilyn Strathern

Index

About the Editors

Eric Hirsch is a Reader in Anthropology at Brunel University London, UK. He has a long-standing interest in the ethnography and history of Papua New Guinea.

Will Rollason is a Senior Lecturer in Anthropology at Brunel University London, UK. His research to date has focused on Papua New Guinea and Rwanda.

About the Series

Routledge Worlds

The Routledge Worlds are magisterial surveys of key historical epochs, edited and written by world-renowned experts. Giving unprecedented breadth and depth of coverage, they are the works against which all future books on their subjects will be judged and are essential reading for anyone with a serious interest in the subject.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOC002000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / General