Thursday, December 31, 2009

ASAO 2010 Annual Meeting

Association for Social Anthropology in Oceania
Annual Meeting: February 9-13, 2010
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Old Towne, Alexandria, Virginia USA

• The 2010 meeting registration and membership renewal form was sent to all who were members in 2009. A blank form is available on the ASAO website. The form, together with your registration fee and membership dues, to the ASAO Treasurer, Mary McCutcheon.
• Checks should be payable to “ASAO” and in U.S. dollars or the equivalent amount in other currencies.
• Credit cards are also accepted: please see the “PayPal” instructions on the ASAO website at:
• Deadline for registering before the meetings is December 31. After that date, onsite registration only. Onsite payments made be made by check, credit card/PayPal, or cash.

• Accommodations have been arranged for ASAO members at the Crowne Plaza Hotel for a special rate of US$139 (+ tax) per night for single or double rooms.
• Hotel information is on the ASAO website :
• Deadline for hotel reservations at the reduced conference rate: January 10.

• Free hotel shuttle to Ronald Reagan National Airport and the Metro (the station at the airport).
• Taxi fare to the hotel from Dulles International Airport is $40-$50.
• Super Shuttle from Dulles International Airport to the hotel is $35 for a shared ride. Reservations for the Super Shuttle must be made before you arrive. Call tollfree 1-800-258-3826 or reserve online at

Tuesday, Feb. 9th
• Board meeting (evening)

Wednesday, Feb. 10
• Board meeting (morning)
• Registration desk and book exhibit open (afternoon)
• Special tour: Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, Museum Support Center,, Suitland, Maryland (afternoon, details to be announced)
• Session organizers meeting (evening)
• Opening Plenary Session (evening)
• Welcome Party (evening)

Thursday, Feb. 11
• Sessions (all day)
• Registration desk and book exhibit open (all day)

Friday, Feb. 12 Sessions (all day)
• Registration desk and book exhibit open (all day)
• Distinguished lecture (Adrienne Kaeppler) and reception (evening)

Saturday, Feb. 13
• Sessions (all day)
• Registration desk and book exhibit open (morning only)
•Closing Plenary Session (evening)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

ESfO 2010 'Exchanging Knowledge in Oceania'

European Society for Oceanists, 8th Conference
ESfO 2010 'Exchanging Knowledge in Oceania'
St Andrews, July 5th - 8th 2010

Firstly, we are pleased to announce the following keynote talks:
  • Monday 5th July: Professor Dame Marilyn Strathern (University of Cambridge) will give the Sir Raymond Firth Memorial Lecture.
  • Tuesday 6th July: Professor Marcia Langton (University of Melbourne).
  • Wednesday 7th July: Associate Professor Vicente Diaz, (University of Michigan).
  • Thursday 8th July: Rt. Hon. Ralph Regenvanu MP (Vanuatu National Cultural Council).

Secondly, due to the popularity of the conference and to give intending delegates more time to secure funding and to confirm their attendance, the Call for Papers Deadline has now been extended to 31st January 2010. Although some working sessions are over-subscribed, there is still space in many others, and all of the twenty-four working sessions remain open.

Conference registration is now open. Bookings for accommodation, meals, social events etc can be made through an online shop. The registration page has details of options and prices and can be found here:

ESfO 2010 website:

Friday, July 10, 2009

Hailans to Ailans

Hailans to Ailans ( is a two part exhibition showing work in a variety of media by five contemporary Papua New Guinea artists and two artists of the Coast Salish nation.

Part 1 opens at the Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London, UK, on September 16, 2009 and runs through October 17. Other events include a live art installation with bilum wear by Cathy Kata, produced with the participation of of Pacific artist Rosanna Raymond, and a performance by Michael Mel at 6.30 p.m. on September 24th.

Part 2 opens at Alcheringa Gallery, Victoria, B.C. on November 5, 2009 and runs to November 26. Other scheduled events will include a ceremonial welcome by the Coast Salish people and a performance by Michael Mel. Please consult the exhibition webpage for further details about the artists and events. An online catalogue of essays and artist interviews will also be available on the webpage in August.Hailans to Ailans is curated by Pamela Rosi (Bridgewater College, MA) and Michael Mel (University of Goroka, EHP).

Saturday, February 28, 2009


an exhibition at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
University of Cambridge

March 18-April 18 2009

Opening event, with lecture by Georgina Beier, on March 17, from 3 pm

Mathias Kauage was an exuberant painter and a founding figure of modern art in the Pacific.

Kauage (c. 1944-2003) was born in Chimbu Province in the Papua New Guinea highlands. In the late 1960s he was employed as a labourer in Port Moresby and was inspired by an exhibition of drawings by a fellow-Highlander, Timothy Akis. Like Akis, he was encouraged by Georgina Beier. Together with her husband Ulli, Georgina influentially supported contemporary art, theatre, and literature in Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, and elsewhere.

Kauage’s work evolved rapidly. Early on he drew fantastic creatures inspired by Chimbu myth, but soon progressed to scenes of Moresby town life and political events. Embracing colour, he went on to produce major paintings around Papua New Guinea’s Independence in 1975, aspects of colonial history, and his own experience – not least his meeting with the Queen, who awarded him an OBE in 1998. His later works were often signed ‘Kauage – Artist of PNG’.

This exhibition foregrounds a previously unexhibited group of early Kauage drawings and beaten copper panels, which form part of a generous donation to the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology by Dame Marilyn Strathern (William Wyse Professor of Social Anthropology, 1993-2008), who conducted fieldwork in the PNG Highlands and in Port Moresby from the 1960s onward.
Visitors to the exhibition also get the chance to listen to a rare early recording of Kauage singing and playing Chimbu instruments such as a bamboo flute.

‘Kauage: Artist of Papua New Guinea’ is a revelation of Kauage’s creativity. His unique intelligence and visual inventiveness suggest new ways of thinking about the emergence of ‘modern art’ beyond the West.

On Tuesday March 17, a public lecture and symposium coincide with the exhibition opening. Georgina Beier will speak on Creating his own tradition at 2.30 pm in the McDonald Seminar Room, in the McDonald Institute (off Downing Street, directly adjacent to the Museum). Helena Regius, Ruth Phillips, and Nicholas Thomas will contribute to a panel discussion.

The Museum plans in due course to publish a catalogue of the collection, together with Marilyn’s previous donation of textiles from Hara Hara Prints, a screenprint workshop in which Georgina Beier also played a key role (see Strathern, ‘Emblems, ornaments and inversions of value’ in Kuechler and Were (eds), The Art of Clothing, UCL Press 2005). In the context of this project, we would be most interested to hear from anthropologists and others who were in Port Moresby in the 1970s or subsequently, and own original works by Kauage or contemporaries, and/or may be able to help with relevant information.
Nicholas Thomas
njt35 [at]

Friday, February 27, 2009

News and Call for AAA 2009 MIG Proposals

As many of you have probably surmised, Susanne Kuehling was elected as convener elect for the Melanesia Interest Group. She and I will be in touch with many of you as we organize for next years AAAs. On that note, we are still soliciting ideas for panels and we hope that those of you heading off to the ASAO meetings this week will give some thought/ discussion to topics and themes that would fit the bill of a Melanesian Interest Group session. MIG sessions have always sought to communicate the relevance of Melanesia to a wider audience, and typically include comparisons within the Pacific and with other regions of the world.

The theme for next year’s meetings suggests many possibilities along these lines and is titled “The End/s of Anthropology.” The AAA invites considerations of the end as ‘both conclusions and purposes,’ and I would think that the overlap of these two meanings would speak to certain sensibilities in the Pacific. Conference organizers have suggested the following sub-foci: The end/s of relativism, the end/s of identity, and the end/s of publics. All of which are certainly areas in which MIG members have expertise.

For further elaboration on the theme please see:

Also I’d like to invite folks to join us on Facebook:


Jamon Halvaksz and Susanne Kuehling