School of Social and Political Sciences - Research Publications

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    The Broker: Inequality, Loss and the PNG LNG Project
    Minnegal, M ; Dwyer, P ; Beer, B ; Schwoerer, T (ANU Press, 2022)
    In this chapter, we trace processes and consequences associated with one man’s ventures into those new worlds, and the shifting motivations and mechanisms that framed his journey. Bob Resa has played a crucial role in brokering relationships between Febi and Kubo people from tributary watersheds of the upper Strickland River (Western Province) and others who, it seems, control access to the possible futures that those people now imagine for themselves.
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    Correction To: God and the Virus in Papua New Guinea: Outsourcing Risk, Living with Uncertainty and (Re)creating a Niupela Pasin
    Minnegal, M ; Dwyer, PD ; Campbell, Y ; Connell, J (Springer Singapore, 2021)
    In Papua New Guinea COVID-19 has been experienced in various ways. The public statements of Prime Minister James Marape evolved within his strategy of outsourcing the country’s response and risk from the virus to God. In a remote area of Western Province, people learned that western science could not cure COVID-19, while their Christian beliefs were challenged by the re-appearance of practices that purported to identify sorcerers who might harness the power of the virus. Some people in East New Britain Province revived the use of shell money. Confronted by collapsing certainties, local people resurrected the past as a means of creating an apparently ‘new normal’. Living with uncertainty, people sought a knowable future, grappling with issues of trust and authority, and resuscitating older truths and practices.
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    A 19th Century New Ireland Dog, Canis familiaris novaehiberniae Lesson, 1827 and the Status of Canis hallstromi Troughton, 1957
    Dwyer, PD ; Parnaby, HE ; Minnegal, M (Australian Museum, 2021-11-10)
    Recent literature has usually invoked the name Canis hallstromi Troughton, 1957, though with varied taxonomic interpretations, when writing of dogs thought to be unique to New Guinea. The name Canis familiaris novaehiberniae was proposed for dogs from the New Guinea region 130 years before Troughton published Canis hallstromi but has been overlooked in the recent literature, as has Canis familiaris papuensis Ramsay, 1879 from southeastern New Guinea. The taxonomic status of New Guinea dogs remains controversial but if dogs from New Guinea and New Ireland represent a single heterogeneous gene pool, then C. hallstromi Troughton and C. familiaris papuensis Ramsay would be junior subjective synonyms of C. familiaris novaehiberniae Lesson, 1827. Recent studies of New Guinea dogs are weakened by their failure to attend carefully to the history of discovery and nomenclature of these animals.
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    The waterfall at the end of the world: Earthquakes, entropy and explanation
    Minnegal, M ; Main, M ; Dwyer, PD ; Hage, G (Duke University Press, 2021)
    In February 2018, a magnitude 7.5 earthquake had devastating consequences for thousands of people living in remote mountainous areas of Papua New Guinea. As the physical world around them collapsed and decayed, many sought to understand what had happened within ontological frames grounded in science and Christianity. Both these speak of decay in physical or moral order, and an inexorable end that is without human cause. The ultimate effect of these new schemas negated the possibility that earthquake-affected local people might view themselves as agents of cause and control with respect to natural disasters, contrasting profoundly with traditional beliefs and practices.
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    God and the Virus in Papua New Guinea: Outsourcing Risk, Living with Uncertainty and (Re)creating a Niupela Pasin
    Minnegal, M ; Dwyer, PD ; Campbell, Y ; Connell, J (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021)
    In Papua New Guinea COVID-19 has been experienced in various ways. The public statements of Prime Minister James Marape evolved within his strategy of outsourcing the country’s response to and risk from the virus to God. In a remote area of Western Province, people learned that western science could not cure COVID-19, while their Christian beliefs were challenged by the re-appearance of practices that purported to identify sorcerers who might harness the power of the virus. Some people in East New Britain Province revived the use of shell money. Confronted by collapsing certainties, local people resurrected the past as a means of creating an apparently ‘new normal’. Living with uncertainty, people sought a knowable future, grappling with issues of trust and authority, and resuscitating older truths and practices.
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    The provenance of diagnostic specimens of the ‘New Guinea Singing Dog’
    Dwyer, P ; Minnegal, M (Queensland Museum, 2022)
    The New Guinea Singing Dog (NGSD) has been diagnosed as a distinct taxon on the basis of (1) two live animals, thought to be wild dogs, either free-living or captive, at the times when they were obtained by Europeans, (2) cranial material from 26 dogs, captive-bred descendants of the original pair, and (3) a single skull reportedly from a free-living wild dog. The NGSD is currently regarded as a behaviourally, morphologically and genetically distinct wild dog found at scattered high-altitude locations on mainland New Guinea, isolated from places where people live and, hence, largely isolated from village dogs associated with those people. We examined historical records to show that few, if any, of the founding members from the captive population of NGSDs, or dogs that served to diagnose Canis hallstromi Troughton, 1957, were, in fact, wild dogs or recent descendants of wild dogs. The continuing insistence that high altitude, wild-living NGSDs are a discrete population of dogs is incorrect. Rather, we recommend additional studies of village-living dogs across the span of altitudes and contend that these would yield much information about what was once a pan-New Guinean population of an unusual, and archaic, form of domestic dog.
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    "We Are Fire Clan': Groups, Names and Identity in Papua New Guinea
    Dwyer, PD ; Minnegal, M (Wiley, 2018-03-01)
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    After the earthquake: Edolo people and their gardens in rainforest
    Minnegal, M ; Dwyer, PD (Berghahn Books Online, 2021-06-21)
    In a previous post to EnviroSociety we described the immediate impacts of a huge earthquake on Edolo people of Papua New Guinea. At the time we wrote, the people were in desperate straits, with minimal access to government services and reliant on support from several mission-connected NGOs. In this sequel, three years later, we write of ways in which the people themselves have been re-establishing a hold on what had been, and in places still remains, a shattered landscape.
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    Relationship between wild-living and village-living dogs in New Guinea
    Dwyer, PD ; Minnegal, MM (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2021-03-23)
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