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In Memory of Times to Come: Ironies of History in Southeastern Papua New Guinea

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Volume 12

ASAO Studies in Pacific Anthropology

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In Memory of Times to Come

Ironies of History in Southeastern Papua New Guinea

Melissa Demian

240 pages, 13 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-80073-116-5 $130.00/£97.00 / Hb / Published (June 2021)

eISBN 978-1-80073-117-2 eBook

Hb View cartYour country: United States - edit   Buy the eBook! $34.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“This beautifully written ethnography challenges the social sciences to rethink longstanding approaches to belonging, identity, place, and change. It is an extraordinary contribution to sociocultural anthropology.” • Paige West, Columbia University


Drawing on twenty years of research, this book examines the historical perspective of a Pacific people who saw “globalization” come and go. Suau people encountered the leading edge of missionization and colonialism in Papua New Guinea and were active participants in the Second World War. In Memory of Times to Come offers a nuanced account of how people assess their own experience of change over the course of a critical century. It asks two key questions: What does it mean to claim that global connections are in the past rather than the present or the future, and what does it mean to claim that one has lost one’s culture, but not because anyone else took it away or destroyed it?

Melissa Demian is Senior Lecturer in Social Anthropology at the University of St Andrews. She has conducted research in Papua New Guinea for over twenty years, and has published on the topics of customary law, legal pluralism, legal history, child adoption, narratives of cultural loss and cultural patrimony, gender, and urbanization.

Subject: Anthropology (General) History (General) Cultural Studies (General)
Area: Asia-Pacific


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