[TimorLesteStudies] Call for Papers: Sorcery and Witchcraft-Related Killings in Melanesia: Culture, Law and Human Rights Perspectives Conference

Bu Wilson bu.wilson at anu.edu.au
Tue Feb 26 08:05:31 EST 2013

SSGM, with the Regulatory Institutions Network at Australian National University
Sorcery and Witchcraft-Related Killings in Melanesia: Culture, Law and Human Rights Perspectives Conference
Richard Eves & Miranda Forsyth (Convenors)

09:00am - 05:00pm
05 June - 07 June 2013


It has been widely believed that sorcery and witchcraft declines with modernity, but evidence from Melanesia, where a sharp increase in accusations of sorcery and witchcraft have resulted in horrendous attacks on alleged practitioners, shows that this is not true. In Papua New Guinea, for example, a pervasive culture of insecurity and fear is developing. The negative effects of such beliefs impinge upon issues as diverse as economic development, elections, civil unrest and criminal activity. Very little of the voluminous, largely anthropological, literature on sorcery and witchcraft in Melanesia considers how this issue can be addressed in policy and practical terms. This interdisciplinary conference and workshop will bring together academics (with backgrounds of law, anthropology, gender and human rights), policy-makers, human rights activists and other practitioners from the region for a constructive dialogue to develop practical and workable solutions to the issue of sorcery and witchcraft, and particularly the problem of sorcery and witchcraft-related killings.

The Melanesian countries of Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu will be the focus of the conference, which will examine similarities and differences across the region through comparative case studies. Although belief in sorcery and witchcraft is widespread in these countries, how their people and governments respond to them varies widely. The two-day conference will be followed by a half-day workshop to devise a research agenda and plan research collaborations in consultation with researchers, policy makers and practitioners from the region.
The conference and workshop is being organised by the State, Society and Governance in Melanesia and the Regulatory Institutions Network, with funding support from the Research School of Asia and the Pacific and the ANU Gender Institute.http://ips.cap.anu.edu.au/ssgm/events/event_details.php?searchterm=cap_330994911&semyear=2013

Dr Bu V.E. Wilson

T: Vanuatu +678 598 2646 (mobile); +678 22626 (landline)
T: Australia +61 (0) 407 087 086
T: Timor-Leste +670 770 22887
E: buvewilson at gmail.com
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