Ethnology of Australia and Oceania
ECTS credit: 5
Lecturer(s): izr. prof. dr. Repič Jaka
The course presents an introduction into ethnology and anthropology in/of Australia and Oceania. It is thematically divided between three parts. The introductory part consists of geographical overview of Australia and Oceania and history of regional divisions between Melanesia, Polynesia and Micronesia. We also look into theories of settlement and ethnogenesis, history of European explorations and colonialism, general social and cultural characteristics in different regions and social, political, economic and cultural changes that occurred in times of colonialism and postcolonial period (rural urban and regional migrations, urbanisation, cargo cults, political movements, politicisation of culture and indigeneity...). The second part consist of an overview of classical as well as important contemporary anthropologists working in the region, and their influences on the development of ethnology and social/cultural anthropology. We primarily focus on development of ethnographic method, understanding key social institutions (kinship systems, growing up, kula, ceremonial exchange...), cosmological traditions and related concepts (mana, taboo, etc.). In the third part we focus on prevalent contemporary issues and problems, such as land claims and politics of autochthony and multiculturalism in Fiji and New Zealand, discourses on climate changes in Pacific... We also discuss examples of contemporary cultural hybridity, identity politics and nationalisms, and affirmations of traditional indigenous culture in art.