author={Stephanie J. Lawson},
  journal={The Journal of Pacific History},
  pages={1 - 22}
  • S. Lawson
  • Published 1 March 2013
  • Sociology
  • The Journal of Pacific History
The term ‘Melanesia’ is a partly geographic, partly cultural referent to a subregion of the island Pacific that has become very much part of ordinary descriptive language along with terms categorising other parts of the Pacific island world, namely Polynesia and Micronesia. Yet ‘Melanesia’ is much more than a descriptor. The term has been loaded with significance in a variety of ways, carrying with it both negative and positive connotations. This paper provides an overview of the way in which… 
Re-Presenting Melanesia: Ignoble Savages and Melanesian Alter-Natives
In this essay, I examine the dominant representations of Melanesia as a place and Melanesians as peoples and how these have influenced understandings of and responses to contemporary developments in
The complexity of monumentality in Melanesia: Mixed messages from Vanuatu
  • S. Bedford
  • Sociology
    Archaeologies of Island Melanesia: Current approaches to landscapes, exchange and practice
  • 2019
This paper revisits the concept of monumentality through the lens of grand communal ceremonies on three separate islands, with contrasting chiefly systems, in the archipelago of Vanuatu (Figure 5.1).
The Marquesans at the fringes of the Austronesian expansion
Interestingly, a number of Melanesian, Polynesian and European Y-chromosome haplogroups exhibit very different distribution between the Marquesan islands of Nuku Hiva and Hiva Oa, likely resulting from drift, differential migration involving various source populations and/or unique trading routes.
Stemmed Tools, Social Interaction, and Voyaging in Early–Mid Holocene Papua New Guinea
ABSTRACT To assess the proposal that the widespread distribution of early–mid Holocene obsidian stemmed tools in Papua New Guinea signifies wide ranging social networks, studies of their morphology,
#Papuanlivesmatter: black consciousness and political movements in West Papua
ABSTRACT After the brutal killing of George Floyd sparked antiracism protests worldwide, Black youth organized protests in West Papua, Indonesia’s marginalized and easternmost region. In 2019,
Place, peace and security in Solomon Islands
This article examines the relationship between place and peace and security in Solomon Islands. Place is understood not only as a geographical location, but as a social, material and symbolic arena
Falling in Love and Passionate Love in an Iranian Sample
Romantic relationships and passionate love are topics of perennial interest to scientists and the lay public alike. While there is evidence of romantic love across many cultures, with some suggesting
Adat Institutionalisation, the State and the Quest for Self-Determination in West Papua
In West Papua, which encompasses the Papua and West Papua provinces of Indonesia, adat has been codified as an integral part of decentralised governance and development policies. Unlike other places
Cultural festivals as intergroup settings: a case study of Pacific Islander identification
ABSTRACT Addressing the current gap in the literature regarding cultural festivals as a unique site of intergroup discourse, we invoke social identity and group vitality theories to explore the
Unequal Lives in the Western Pacific
This collection is a major contribution to academic and political debates about the perverse effects of inequality, which now ranks among the greatest challenges of our time. The inspiration for this


‘Already Sovereign as a People’: A Foundational Moment in West Papuan Nationalism
Describes and analyzes the history of the West Papuan independence movement, especially under the period of Indonesian rule since the 1960s.
Papua New Guinea in 1987: Wingti's Coalition in a Disabled System
The year 1987 was inevitably dominated by electoral politics. The three-week voting period, June 13-July 4, separated a drawnout, issueless, but frantic campaign from the even more frenetic
Cohesion and disorder in Melanesia: the Bougainville conflict
  • New Politics in the South Pacific
  • 1994
A Melanesian icon: Professor Bernard Mullu Narokobi ( -2010)', paper presented at the Pacific History Association Conference
    MSG: trading on political capital and Melanesian solidarity', Pacific Institute of Public Policy
    • Briefing Paper
    • 2008
    The Melanesian Spearhead Group: testing Pacific Island solidarity', Australian Strategic Policy Institute
    • Policy Analysis
    • 2011