Dr Ryan Schram
+61 2 9114 1293
Ryan Schram is a cultural anthropologist whose research deals with the process of economic and social changes in Auhelawa, an indigenous society on the south coast of Normanby Island, Papua New Guinea. In his dissertation, entitled "Feast of Water: Christianity and the Economic Transformation of a Melanesian Society" (UC San Diego, 2009), Schram argues that Christianity plays an important role in this process by shaping the way people see the relationships between Western and Auhelawa cultures in terms of specific narratives of history. More recently, Schram has begun to explore the reflexivity of cultural change itself, or, how people's perceptions of how change works influences the consequences of historical events and processes like cross-cultural contact, colonialism and globalization. He is interested in finding how different modes of reflexive perception are acquired, mediated, transmitted and reinforced, and what happens when people have different, conflicting modes of reflexivitykinship and Christianityto choose from. These questions have led him to consider what besides religion are the other sites at the border between cultures that afford people reflexive awareness of cultural change, e.g. "nature" or "the environment," development projects, education, and indigenous rights movements.
social change, anthropology of Christianity, religion, ritual, history and historical memory, kinship, regional systems, language, education, human ecology, exchange theory, value theory, Melanesia and the Pacific
- in press. Finding Money: Business and Charity in Auhelawa, Papua New Guinea. Ethnos. Accepted November 5, 2010.
- 2010. Witches' Wealth: Witchcraft, Confession and Christian Personhood in Auhelawa, Papua New Guinea. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 16: 726-742.
- 2007. "Sit, Cook, Eat, Full Stop": Religion and the Rejection of Ritual in Auhelawa (Papua New Guinea). Oceania 77(2): 172-190.
Units of Study Taught
Schram has taught units on kinship, the anthropology of Melanesia, religion and economic anthropology. In 2011, he will offer Economy and Culture (ANTH2653) in Semester 1 and Migration and Migrant Cultures (ANTH2628) in Semester 2.