Recent notes

Slides for my presentation at AAA in Vancouver on November 23

I am quickly getting ready for my upcoming trip to Vancouver for the 2019 meeting of the American Anthropological Association. I will be presenting a paper in a session I organized with my colleague Tom Strong entitled “Making the occult public.” We saw that people’s stories about magic were becoming increasingly visible and were now […]

An important primary source on the history of Papua and New Guinea is now online

I was surprised and pleased today to discover that a new title has been added to the already impressive collection of digitized Australian newspapers on Trove. Papuan Times, a self-described “paper for Papuans” that was produced by graduates of the school at Kwato mission in Papua from 1948 to about 1957. Issues from 1951 to […]

Sorcery and stereotypes in Guardian reporting on Papua New Guinea

On January 4, the Guardian published an article by Australian journalist Helen Davidson on assaults in Togoba, Papua New Guinea against people accused of using sorcery to kill a man who died of malaria. She followed this up on January 10 with another report on an attack on the chief justice of PNG and his […]

Questions for Q&A on Monday

I asked to be in the audience of the ABC panel discussion show Q&A. The guests will be two politicians (a Victorian senator and a federal shadow minister), author Rachel Botsman (who writes on the “sharing economy”), an “expert” on “Islamic extremism,” and… Jane Goodall (!). I got a seat, too. So, naturally, I submitted […]

Unamai: A hot ticket in Rabaul, New Guinea, 1951

An announcement of a string band concert at Unamai Restaurant in Rabaul, 1951 In the January 13, 1951 issue of Rabaul News, a small item appeared at the top of page 4, in the Village News section. It read: UNAMAI RESTAURANT (HAUS KAIKAI) Baai (Nodup) String Band – baimbai oli pilai gita TUDEI LONG NAIT! […]