About Dr Ryan Schram

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 reflexivity-kinship and Christianity-to 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.

Research Interests
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

Selected publications

For a complete profile and list of publications for Dr Ryan Schram go here.