Macquarie University
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Finding Papua in Java: Papuans encounter stories about the past and themselves

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posted on 2022-03-28, 16:12 authored by Belinda Lopez
Creative component: Tete. Exegesis: Finding Papua in Java: Papuans encounter stories about the past and themselves. This PhD thesis comprises a nonfiction novel, Tete, and an exegesis. The project asks how Papuans encounter stories from the past and present in Java, Indonesia, how these stories spread, and to what effect. The exegesis 1) draws on Martin Nakata's (2007) concept of the Cultural Interface to illustrate the "contested nature" of perspectives in the Papuan Interface; 2) Analyses the purpose and impact of Papuan stories and storytelling, particularly about history, by fusing several narrative methodologies defined by non-Indigenous and First Nations' scholars, including Arthur Frank's (2010) dialogical narrative analysis and Benny Giay's (2006) interpretation of memoria passionis; 3) Applies the concept of 'trickster stories' to a number of case studies in Java, to demonstrate how independent Papuan scholars fluidly remix canons of knowledge, creating an ecosystem committed to decolonised scholarship; 4) Scrutinises previous scholarship of Trickster and cargo cults, and develops these tropes as a method to critique anthropological and creative writing research, amongst emerging debates about decolonised methodologies; 5) Demonstrates how ethnographic data can be shared through academic and literary writing genres, and how narrative methodologies might be applied to both a nonfiction novel and scholarly essays as a strategy of "insisting on attention to Indigenous history-making" and "insisting on attention to colonial power" (Kaplan 1995, 458).


Table of Contents

Part One: The Papuan Interface -- Part Two: Honai Study Club -- Part Three: There's No 'I' in Papua.


Theoretical thesis. Bibliography: pages 170-182

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis PhD


PhD, Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies / Department of Anthropology

Department, Centre or School

Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Kate Rossmanith

Additional Supervisor 1

Jaap Timmer


Copyright Belinda Lopez 2019. Copyright disclaimer:




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