ANU honours eminent PNG scholar, Ron May
18 September 2021
ANTHONY REGAN, NICOLE HALEY
& THIAGO OPPERMANN
CANBERRA - Emeritus Fellow Ron May is being honoured by a conference and Festschrift (collection of writings) to celebrate his 50-year contribution to research, writing and thinking, especially about Papua New Guinea.
The celebration is hosted by the Department of Pacific Affairs at the Australian National University.
The Festschrift, authored by scholars from and of Papua New Guinea, will be published in 2022.
Since his first engagement with PNG more than 50 years ago, Ron has been a central figure in the planning, management and conduct of social science research in the country.
He was head of ANU’s pre-independence New Guinea Research Institute, first director of the Papua New Guinea Institute of Applied Social and Economic Research and more recently a resident adviser to the PNG National Research Institute.
He has produced a steady stream of publications contributing to knowledge and understanding of PNG. He has supervised the research of numerous PhD candidates whose work related to PNG and acted as a mentor to many scholars in PNG and Australia.
Ron has been a remarkably collegial scholar, as evidenced by the many workshops and conferences he has organised, and the numerous collections of edited papers he has published.
He has maintained this admirable focus on PNG whilst also undertaking research and publication in relation to Australia, Mindanao, Myanmar and West Papua.
Ron also contributed to PNG and Pacific studies more generally through his major role in establishing of the ANU’s State Society and Governance in Melanesia Program.
Ron’s work on PNG traverses a remarkably wide range of subjects including colonialism; ethnicity; micro-nationalism; cargo cults; conflict resolution; impacts of major resource developments; political instability; defence and security; the economy; land; education; Australian policy on PNG and much, much more.
The proposed Festschrift collection will address a range of issues linked to a broad theme of learning about PNG and how it works.
You can link here to see the conference program for Friday 1 October. Contact the Department of Pacific Affairs for further information here: firstname.lastname@example.org
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