Formal Symposium: Hierarchy and Egalitarianism in Austronesia/Oceania
Organizer: Ku Kun-hui
Not appearing in 2017.
There is a long tradition on the theme of hierarchy and egalitarianism in Austronesia re-
gion, and current revived revision of the topic: chief and big-man model, great man model, big shots, concept of precedence, recent re-examination of chief in Pacific, and reevaluation of Dumont’s model of hierarchy and its applicability in Pacific societies, and so on. Taiwan has been considered an important point of Austronesian expansion yet few anthropological theorizing on Austronesian social formations takes into consideration of Indigenous Taiwan Austronesian situations. In this workshop, we intend to re-assess these (old and new) models ethnographically, and ask how these models inform our own work and how our ethnographic materials contest or enhance these analytical frameworks by interrogating closely the dynamics between theory and field
phenomena across the board. This workshop continues with the previous informal sessions at ASAO on the theme and intends to combine the expertise from different regions of Austronesian world (Taiwan, Southeast Asia, Oceania and Madagascar) for comparative perspectives to form a fresh contribution to the topic.
As a number of participants were not able to attend February 2016 meeting, we decided to hold a workshop in Taiwan in early December titled “Hierarchy and Egalitarianism in Austronesia/Oceania.” We received 12 abstracts and the finalized program includes Fred Damon with David Gibeault, Thomas Gibson, Richard Scaglion with Holley Lin, Knut Rio, John Barker, Keir Martin, Denis Regnier, Ching-hsiu Lin, Chun-wei Fang, Hsin-
Chieh Kao, Chien-Chang Feng and Kun-hui Ku with an exceptional range of work. Due to the plans for this December event there will be no formal session at Kaua‘i. If anyone is interested in learning more, please reach out to Lamont and Dan in Kaua‘i.
Ku Kun-hui, National Tsing Hua University