Making the Ipili Feasible

I haven’t been posting much on SM lately because I’ve had another project that has taken up most of my time — formatting my dissertation! Luckily it is now done, or at least in to the dissertation office at the University of Chicago. The dissertation, “Making the Ipili Feasible: Imagining Local and Global Actors at the Porgera Gold Mine, Enga Province, Papua New Guinea”: (1.5 meg PDF download) is now available for download at my website, but it is only semi-canonical — there may be changes to the formatting of the bibliography, page numbers, I haven’t checked that the PDF converted without a hitch from the Open Office version, etc. etc. The Official Version will be the UMI version, but that won’t be out for another eight months to a year, so I figured I will put this up. I am a notoriously poor speller and proofreader, so please do not tell me about typos in the final version — it will make me feel bad and might tip off the dissertation office. Anyway you now have 430+ pages of reading to make up for my lack of blogging.


Alex Golub is an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. His book Leviathans at The Gold Mine has been published by Duke University Press. You can contact him at

6 thoughts on “Making the Ipili Feasible

  1. Congratulations!–from a quick skim, mostly of the conclusion, it looks really interesting–I think I am committed this year, but maybe there is room for a AAA session on “cultural invention” that ISN’T about why it undermines the culture concept?

  2. I would love to attend or participate in a AAA session about “‘cultural invention’ that ISN’T about why it undermines the culture concept. My dissertation research was about profound economic and social structural transformation that was still continuous with previous structures in Lisu (Tibeto-Burman, northern mainland Southeast Asia people) societies.

  3. Kate–as I said, committed this year, but seriously interested: I think more and more people feel this way about “cultural invention” but there is a need to articulate the point. My dissertation is about a series of more or less self-conscious inventions over the course of Maori resistance to colonialism and assimilation that similarly reflect (and help maintain) a kind of continuity that I would like to call “cultural” My email is It’s early, but perhaps we could at least plan to meet next year and plan something for the following AAA–or I could comment this year, but I’m committed with regard to a paper. Actually while I am writing, do Lisu do any sort of “cultural festivals”? Rex, interested?

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