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The Australian National University

ARCSHS distinguished lecture series: Margaret Jolly

Presenter: Margaret Jolly
Event date: 
5.30–7.30pm 30 August 2017
Venue: Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society 215 Franklin St Melbourne, Victoria 3000
ARCSHS is turning 25! To celebrate we’re hosting a Distinguished Lecture Series showcasing senior academics from Australia and abroad discussing contemporary issues in sexuality, health and the social dimensions of human relationships.
Please join us for the next lecture in the series were Professor Margaret Jolly will be speaking on the rise of individualism in relation to sexuality and gender in the Pacific region.

Margaret Jolly

Professor Margaret Jolly, Professor in the School of Culture, History and Language, Australian National University

Title: Incipient Individuals? Gender, Sexuality and Subjectivity in Contemporary Oceania

Abstract: In this talk I will reflect on whether we are witnessing an incipient individualism in contemporary Oceania, what processes might be catalysing that and how differently gendered and sexual subjects are situated in such processes. Social theorists have often plotted a binary between autonomous individuals and relational persons and grounded that in the imaginary landscapes of the ‘West’ and ‘non-West’. Oceania, the sea of islands of the Pacific, has been a privileged locale for such arguments. Contemporary transformations consequent on land dispossession, commodity economics, biomedicine, Christianity and human rights discourses have all been implicated in debates about emergent or incipient individualism. Through an analysis of research across several Pacific countries carried out by a team of scholars on our ARC Laureate project Engendering Persons, Transforming Things I will argue for the dynamic co-presence of these rival models of the person and reflect on how they are gendered and sexualised in Oceania.

Margaret Jolly (FASSA) was an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow 2010–2016. She is a Professor and Deputy Director (Research) in the School of Culture, History and Language in the College of Asia and the Pacific at the Australian National University. She is presently Convenor of the Gender Institute at the ANU. She has taught at Macquarie University in Sydney, the University of Hawai’i and the University of California, Santa Cruz and has 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 held a Poste Rouge with the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) 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 most recent books are Divine Domesticities: Christian Paradoxes in Asia and the Pacific (ed. with Hyaeweol Choi), ANU Press, Canberra 2014 and Gender Violence and Human Rights: Seeking Justice in Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu (ed. with Aletta Biersack and Martha Macintyre), ANU Press, Canberra 2016. She is presently focused on issues of gender and climate change in the Pacific.

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