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Frustrated Modernity: Kerewo Histories and Historical Consciousness, Gulf Province, Papua New Guinea

Di Rosa, Dario

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This thesis takes Kerewo historical consciousness as the frame for an analysis of the ways in which reflections on the past are fundamentally informed by orientations towards the future. In particular, I draw on various representations of the historical event of the killing of missionary James Chalmers in 1901, and its consequences, to explore local conceptions of modernity as a moral state withheld from Kerewo in the absence of a reconciliation with their...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorDi Rosa, Dario
dc.date.accessioned2018-10-23T02:40:47Z
dc.identifier.otherb58076827
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/148575
dc.description.abstractThis thesis takes Kerewo historical consciousness as the frame for an analysis of the ways in which reflections on the past are fundamentally informed by orientations towards the future. In particular, I draw on various representations of the historical event of the killing of missionary James Chalmers in 1901, and its consequences, to explore local conceptions of modernity as a moral state withheld from Kerewo in the absence of a reconciliation with their past. This particular historical episode occupies a central place in contemporary Kerewo understandings of their perceived marginality within the post-Independence state of Papua New Guinea, and more widely in the world system. This marginality is manifest in Kerewo daily experience as a lack of services and infrastructure, despite the presence in the area of a multi-billion dollar resource extraction enterprise. The roots of this perceived lack of ‘modernity’ are sought in the colonial past, and articulated in moral terms through historical narratives. The colonial era emerges from these narratives as the period in which Kerewo were exposed to modernity in its ideological and material forms. Yet, the promises and expectation of an amelioration of life conditions engendered by several colonial discourses never materialised, leaving contemporary Kerewo people with a sense of frustrated modernity. It is the conflation of the colonial era with the idea of modernity that informs Kerewo historical consciousness, and thus it is by ritually addressing the colonial past that Kerewo people seek to transform the ‘frustrated modernity’ of the present into a better future. What emerges from the analysis of the historical and ethnographic material that constitutes the core of this dissertation is that historical consciousness consists fundamentally of a social process – which emerges from the social labour of history- making – to apprehend present conditions through reflection on the past informed by competing orientations toward the future.
dc.format.extent1 vol.
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.language.isoen_AU
dc.publisherCanberra, ACT : The Australian National University
dc.rightsAuthor retains copyright
dc.subjectKerewo
dc.subjectGoaribari
dc.subjectHistorical Consciousness
dc.subjectMelanesia
dc.subjectAnthropology
dc.subjectEthnography
dc.subjectChristianity
dc.subjectColonialism
dc.subjectModernity
dc.titleFrustrated Modernity: Kerewo Histories and Historical Consciousness, Gulf Province, Papua New Guinea
dc.typeThesis (PhD)
local.contributor.institutionThe Australian National University
local.contributor.supervisorBallard, Christopher
local.contributor.supervisorcontactchris.ballard@anu.edu.au
dcterms.valid2018
local.description.notesthe author deposited 23/10/2018
local.description.refereedYes
local.type.degreeDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
dc.date.issued2018
local.type.statusAccepted Version
local.contributor.affiliationSchool of Culture History and Language, College of Asia and the Pacific, The Australian National University
local.request.emailrepository.admin@anu.edu.au
local.request.nameDigital Theses
local.identifier.doi10.25911/5d51429b56974
dcterms.accessRightsRestricted access
local.mintdoimint
CollectionsOpen Access Theses

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