University of Rochester

EVENT: Globalization, Free Trade: A View from Papua New Guinea

October 7, 2002

Through the lens of their work in Papua New Guinea, two ethnographers will discuss globalization and global disparities at this year's Lewis Henry Morgan Lectures sponsored by the Department of Anthropology at the University of Rochester.

Frederick Errington, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at Trinity College, and Deborah Gewertz, G. Henry Whitcomb Professor of Anthropology at Amherst College, will lecture Wednesday, Oct. 16, and then join a panel discussion Thursday, Oct. 17, on various aspects of their historical and anthropological study of a Papua New Guinea sugar plantation owned and operated by a British-based multinational corporation.

The lecture will occur at 7 p.m. Oct. 16 in Lander Auditorium of Hutchison Hall, followed by a reception. The panel discussion will be held at 2 p.m. Oct. 17 in the Welles-Brown Room of Rush Rhees Library. Both events, which are free and open to the public, will take place on the University's River Campus.

Errington and Gewertz are considered premier ethnographers of Papua New Guinea, the largest of the independent Pacific island states. This year's Morgan Lectures are titled "As Natural as Life: What a Papua New Guinea Sugar Plantation Can Teach Us About Human History." Their talk and the following day's discussion will deal with the social consequences of economic globalization.

Each anthropologist has a distinguished publishing record. Together, they have published a series of rich monographs revolving around the peoples of newly independent Papua New Guinea. These include Cultural Alternatives and a Feminist Anthropology: An Analysis of Culturally Constructed Gender Interests in Papua New Guinea (1987); Twisted Histories, Altered Contexts: Representing the Chambri in a World System (1991); Articulating Change in the "Last Unknown" (1995), and Emerging Class in Papua New Guinea: The Telling of Difference (1999).

Errington graduated from Wesleyan University and received his doctorate from Cornell University. Gewertz is a graduate of Queens College and received her doctorate from the City University of New York. Besides her teaching at Amherst, she is professor of anthropology in the University of Massachusetts Graduate Faculty. Their most recent work concerns the global effects of capitalism.

The Oct. 17 panel discussion, "Economic Globalization: Let Free Trade Rip?," will feature Joseph E. Inikori, professor of history at the University of Rochester; Christine A. Kray, assistant professor of anthropology at Rochester Institute of Technology; James Schmidt, executive director of Farmworker Legal Services of New York, Inc.; and Errington and Gewertz.

Robert Foster, associate professor of anthropology at the University of Rochester, will moderate the panel. Foster's research in Papua New Guinea has focused on global marketing and changing consumption patterns.

Honoring the memory of Lewis Henry Morgan, the distinguished 19th-century anthropologist and University of Rochester benefactor, the Morgan Lectures have been presented annually since 1963. They are one of the oldest and most prestigious lecture series in anthropology in North America. Presentations by the speakers are published by University of Chicago Press. For more information, please contact the Department of Anthropology at (585) 275-8614.