ASAEO + NEWS = ASAO
ASAEO + NEWS = ASAO
Association for Social Anthropology in Oceania
This paper examines the growth of ASAO from a society primarily focused on Eastern Oceania and Austronesian-speaking peoples to an umbrella organization that, today, encompasses the entire range of Pacific cultures. A primary decision towards this end was to include the very large number of researchers who work with speakers of non-Austronesian languages on the mainland of New Guinea. ASAO began as ASAEO, the Association for Social Anthropology in Eastern Oceania. Its members employed a controlled comparison approach to explore social variation in Austronesian (mostly Polynesian) societies. Meanwhile, Melanesianists, especially those working on the mainland of New Guinea with Papuan-speaking peoples, were without a comparable professional organization. Starting around 1980, a regional newsletter called NEWS (The NorthEast Wantok System newsletter) was begun with the goal of helping Melanesianists located in the Northeast area of the USA to keep in touch. It quickly grew and morphed into a regular newsletter with much wider (actually worldwide) distribution. But as the participation of Melanesianists in ASAO grew, NEWS became redundant with the ASAO Newsletter and the ASAONET listserv, and NEWS was terminated in May 1995. In this paper, I use NEWS as a focal point to trace the increasing involvement of Melanesianist anthropologists in ASAO and the concomitant broadening of ASAO’s comparative ethnographic base.
Association for Social Anthropology in Oceania, Association for Social Anthropology in Oceania
Scaglion, Richard. 2021. ASAEO + NEWS = ASAO. ASAO Histories Paper 9. Association for Social Anthropology in Oceania, May. http://hdl.handle.net/10524/63964
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