SYNAPSE Zoom Seminar: Leadership and its Social Correlates in Contact-Era New Guinea, Paul Roscoe, 1 Mar
SYNAPSE Zoom Seminar: Leadership and its Social Correlates in Contact-Era New Guinea
Speaker: Paul "Jim" Roscoe
When: 1 Mar 2021, 6pm-7:30pm (AEDT)
Where: This is an online event and will be hosted via Zoom; Login details for the Zoom event will be included in your Eventbrite registration email
Registration via Eventbrite: www.eventbrite.com.au/e/leadership-and-its-social-correlates-in-contact-era-new-guinea-tickets-142175128637
Data on some 100 New Guinea communities indicate that types of leadership (principally, Big-man, Great-man, egalitarian/minimal leadership, and [petty] chiefs) correlate moderately to strongly with a variety of other social phenomena, including population density, polity size, settlement patterns, wife capture, marriage patterns ('sister'-exchange versus bridewealth), forms of war (large-scale raids cf. small ambushes cf. open battles), and exo-cannibalism. Closer investigation suggests that, among these variables, the distribution of population on the land (i.e., population density and settlement nucleation/dispersal) strongly facilitates the others, with population distribution strongly dependent on resource productivity. This seminar presentation reviews the empirical evidence for these claims and suggests several explanations for how and why density and nucleation play such pivotal social roles.
Professor Paul “Jim” Roscoe is Distinguished Professor at the University of Maine. His extensive fieldwork amongst the Yangoru Boiken of the East Sepik, Papua New Guinea has informed theories on the origins of war, incest taboos and political evolution. Recently, his research focus has been on the human dimensions of climate change, and in particular how anthropological research can improve the models of human systems currently being used in predicting, mitigating, and adapting to climate change.
This seminar is part of SYNAPSE: The CHL trans-disciplinary seminar series