New Session: Imaginary Peoples of the Pacific
Organizer: Roger Ivar Lohmann
Friday, February 10, 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Jasmine 1
Oceania is peopled not only by human beings that anyone can see, but by their imaginary friends and enemies whom one must be enculturated to experience
and know. What types of these beings inhabit the cultures of Oceania, past and present? How do they come into and go out of existence? In what media are they thought to exist? What kinds of relationships exist between actual and imaginary people, and among communities dedicated to particular ones? What synergies and conflicts arise when different or incompatible imaginary peoples come into contact? What are the practical consequences of imaginary beings being treated as real versus made up? Why and how do people purposely or unintentionally create such fellow people and come to regard them as more than merely imaginary? How can the diverse methods of
anthropology be directed to studying, getting to know, and accurately representing imaginary people?
Participants will verbally share papers setting out their initial explorations of such matters with original anthropological data from the Pacific. If sufficient interest and focus emerges, we can proceed to a working session next year.
Additional participants are welcome and invited to send the organizer a title and abstract of up to 250 words to pre-circulate no later than February 1, 2017.
Roger Ivar Lohmann, Trent University