Mittwoch, 21. Mai 2014, 18:30 - 20:00 iCal

Wednesday Seminar - Eric Hirsch

Names, narratives and transformations of land: contested ownership regimes in Papua New Guinea

HS-C, Institut für Kultur- und Sozialanthropologie (NIG)
Universitätsstraße 7, 4. Stock, 1010 Wien


Land in Papua New Guinea (PNG) is divided into named places known and looked after by the people associated with the places. Often the named places are parts of narratives that account for how the places came to assume their current forms. Throughout PNG people traditionally expressed their relations with land as one where the land ‘owned’ the people – they were there to care for the land - and not as westerners usually expressed this relation of people owning the land. Care of the land involves knowing its names and narratives. However, since the advent of large-scale resource extraction in PNG over the last three decades more and more people have become ‘landowners’. Becoming a landowner involves inverting not only the conventional relations with land but with other people associated with the land. To assert landownership means cutting the relations people have with the land so that it resides with a single owner. But this is not a straightforward matter as relations with the land are similar to the relations between people: they are multiple and overlapping. This seminar examines these contested regimes of ownership around a copper and gold mine in the Papuan highlands and the anticipated expansion of mining into a neighbouring area.

Zur Webseite der Veranstaltung


Institut für Kultur- und Sozialanthropologie


Tabitha Schnoeller
Institut für Kultur- und Sozialanthropologie