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First Year Forum: Doing Field Work in Papua New Guinea

Doing field work in Papua New Guinea

Ryan Schram

Mills 169 (A26)


March 9, 2015

Available at http://anthro.rschram.org/talks/first_year_forum

A tropical island in the south Pacific?

Do you see what I see?

Let me show you

Bronislaw Malinowski: The P.T. Barnum of anthropology

In 1922, Bronislaw Malinowski wrote in Argonauts of the Western Pacific:

"Imagine yourself suddenly set down surrounded by all your gear, alone on a tropical beach close to a native village, while the launch or dinghy which has brought you sails away out of sight… Imagine further that you are a beginner, without previous experience, with nothing to guide you and no one to help you. For the white man is temporarily absent, or else unable or unwilling to waste any of his time on you. This exactly describes my first initiation into field work on the south coast of New Guinea." (Malinowski 1932 [1922]: 4)

The more you know

Ready to learn more about the study of culture, and how it relates to the world we live in? Well, after ANTH 1001, here are some more units you can take!:

  • ANTH 1002: Anthropology and the Global (Semester 2, 2015) If we live in a globalized world, then we are always moving between cultures. The biggest problems today are global in nature. What does anthropology say about them through the lens of culture?
  • ANTH 2654: Forms of Families (Semester 2, 2015) Everyone has a family. Is it true? If even the meaning of relationships, relatives and belonging is culturally relative, then what does that say about human nature?
  • ANTH 2667: The Anthropology of Religion (Semester 1, 2015) Why do people believe in God? Why have societies always made a space for religion? Is this something that all cultures have in common? Will it always be so?


Malinowski, Bronislaw. 1932 [1922]. Argonauts of The Western Pacific: An Account of Native Enterprise and Adventure in the Archipelagoes of Melanesian New Guinea. London: George Routledge and Sons, Ltd. http://archive.org/details/argonautsofthewe032976mbp.

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