Informal Session: Jean Guiart: L’ethnographie comme marathon d’une vie/Ethnography as Life’s Marathon
Organizers: Lamont Lindstrom and Marc Tabani
Preliminary discussion and exploration of Pacific scholar Jean Guiart's life (1925-2019) and his ethnographic career were animated and informative. Seven participants shared a variety of perspectives looking forward to preparing papers on various aspects of Guiart's oeuvre, although these will clarify when writing begins, and another half dozen ASAO attendees joined us in the Grand Naniloa's private dining room. Preliminary proposals include Ron Adam's plan to return to a lengthy interview he recorded with Guiart in 1996 which then explored the possibility of an English translation of Guiart's 'Un siècle et demi de contacts cultural à Tanna', and whether the metaphor of 'beachcomber' might suit Guiart; Nancy Lutkehaus will investigate three of Guiart's books that feature Pacific arts, including 'Océanie' ('The Arts of the South Pacific') and 'Oceanic Art: The Sepik Area of New Guinea', noting Guiart's early interests in contemporary Pacific artists and their quotidian productions and his critique of the western art market selling Oceanic art; Bruno Saura may focus on Guiart's writings about Polynésie Française, including his criticism of T. Henry's Ancient Tahiti, his defense of linguist and oral traditions collector Frank Stimson, and his position vis-à-vis island independence; Serge Tcherkézoff pointed to a publication of 1974 (JSO 45:317-321), now forgotten, where Guiart, using the pretext of a review of Marie-Thérèse and Bengt Danielsson's 'Morurua Mon Amour', reveals more explicitly than anywhere else his political positions of the time as well as his unfulfilled desires to play a prominent role in the French Polynesia research institutions; Benoît Trépied is following connections between Guiart's ethnographic projects and his participation in New Caledonian politics and administration in the late 1940s and 1950s; Marc Tabani is interested both in Guiart's research methods (partly set forth in his 1971 book 'Clefs pour l'ethnologie') and evaluating his one week research visit to Aniwa island, the findings of which he published in Oceania 32(1); and Lamont Lindstrom is exploring initial articles that Guiart published in English and French starting in 1951, and how these led up to his John Frum monograph in 1956. Other partici- pants unable to join us in Hilo include Chris Ballard, Nicholas Garnier, Patrice Godin, Kirk Huffman, Isabelle Leblic, and Jean-Louis Rallu. We move forward to a working session, or perhaps hybrid working/formal session, as participants will circulate draft papers by the end of this year.
For more information please contact Lamont Lindstrom <email@example.com> and Marc Tabani <firstname.lastname@example.org>