Engendering the Anthropocene: Horizons and rifts in conversations about climate change in Oceania

Presented by ANU College of Asia & the Pacific

In this lecture, Margaret Jolly reflects on some recent conversations about climate change, globally and in Oceania.

Inspired by Dipesh Chakrabarty’s writing on horizons and rifts in these conversations and the challenges of writing history in the face of climate change, Jolly ponders how Oceania and Oceanic peoples figure in such dialogues and how indigenous knowledge and deep Oceanic histories are simultaneously embraced and marginalized.

ECOPAS, a European Union funded endeavour, is aiming to put the ‘human’ back into climate change in the Pacific. Being ‘human’ requires an acknowledgement of both our shared global connections and the divisions of race and place which have a continuing and profound resonance in Oceania. But how might those differences be gendered? Are there differences between the embodied experiences of women and men in confronting climate change in Oceania? Are men and women differentially represented in regional and global conversations about climate change?

Margaret Jolly (FASSA) is an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow and Professor in the School of Culture, History and Language in the College of Asia and the Pacific. She has taught at Macquarie University in Sydney, the University of Hawai’i and the University of California, and been a visiting scholar in Anthropology in Cambridge University and at Centre de recherche et documentation sur l’Océanie (CREDO) in Marseille. In 2009 she was a visiting professor with the Centre national de la recherche scientifique in France. She is an historical anthropologist who has written extensively on gender in the Pacific, on exploratory voyages and travel writing, missions and contemporary Christianity, maternity and sexuality, cinema and art. Her books include Women of the Place, Kastom, Colonialism and Gender in Vanuatu, Harwood Academic Publishers, Chur, 1994; Sites of Desire, Economies of Pleasure: Sexualities in Asia and the Pacific, (ed. with Lenore Manderson), University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1997; Maternities and Modernities: Colonial and Postcolonial Experiences in Asia and the Pacific, (ed. with Kalpana Ram) Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1998; Borders of Being: Citizenship, Fertility and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific, (ed. with Kalpana Ram) University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, 2001; Oceanic Encounters: Exchange, Desire, Violence (ed. with Serge Tcherkézoff and Darrell Tryon. Canberra) ANU E-Press, Canberra, 2009; Engendering Violence in Papua New Guinea (ed. with Christine Stewart and Carolyn Brewer) ANU E-Press, Canberra, 2012 and Divine Domesticities: Christian Paradoxes in Asia and the Pacific (ed. with Hyaeweol Choi) ANU Press, Canberra 2014.

This Public Lecture is given as part of the symposium 'Worlding Oceania: Christianities, Commodities and Gendered Persons in the Pacific', Symposium of ARC Laureate Project Engendering Persons, Transforming Things