Institutt for sosialantropologi

New book by Andrew Lattas

Professor Andrew Lattas has recently published a new book based on his long-term anthropological engagement with Papua New Guinea


"Dreams, Madness, and Fairy Tales in New Britain" studies everyday forms of creativity. Comparing ethnography from three rural areas in Papua New Guinea, it analyses popular visions of utopia and dystopia. Distrustful of government promises of development and church expositions of heaven and hell, villagers cultivate their own clandestine versions of hope, of an alternative future, as a way of subverting existing governmental structures and pastoral powers. Through dreams, visions, rumors, sorcery accusations, cults, myths, and local fairy tales, villagers explore other versions of modernity. They imagine other ways to be Melanesian and other ways to be White. They combine Western and local culture in novel and often startling ways, which are never random or haphazard. Instead, villagers' inventiveness is structured and political. It strives to refigure the possibilities of social change, including contesting how subjects and subjectivities should be formed. It is the uneven, unfinished processes of Westernization that are being reflected upon and caricatured through new portraits of monstrosity and hope.

An excerpt from the book is available here and you may browse through the book here.

Publisher: Carolina Academic Press
Pages: 394 pages
ISBN: 1594607273