Jenny Munro

Jenny Munro is a research fellow in the State, Society and Governance in Melanesia Program at The Australian National University. She is a cultural anthropologist who works in Papua and other regions of eastern Indonesia. Her doctoral research followed a group of indigenous university students from the central highlands of Papua to North Sulawesi and back home again to examine the social, cultural and political impacts of schooling. Since completing her PhD in 2010, Jenny has conducted five collaborative ethnographic research projects in the domains of HIV/AIDS, sexuality, education and alcohol-related violence. Her research reflects a broader interest in understanding emerging and enduring inequalities that are reshaping daily life in Papua. She has published articles on racial stigma and premarital pregnancy experiences (Journal of Youth Studies), the politics of HIV research and policy formation (The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology), and indigenous experiences of the value of education in highlands Papua (Indonesia). She is currently writing about HIV, gender and mobility in Papua.

From 'Stone-Age' to 'Real-Time' »

Exploring Papuan Temporalities, Mobilities and Religiosities

There are probably no other people on earth to whom the image of the ‘stone-age’ is so persistently attached than the inhabitants of the island of New Guinea, which is divided into independent Papua New Guinea and the western part of the island, known today as Papua and West Papua. From ‘Stone-Age’ to ‘Real-Time’ examines the forms of agency, frictions and anxieties the current moment generates in West Papua, where the persistent ‘stone-age’ image meets the practices and ideologies of the ‘real-time’ – a popular expression referring to immediate digital communication. The volume is thus essentially occupied with discourses of time and space and how they inform questions of hierarchy and possibilities for equality. Papuans are increasingly mobile, and seeking to rework inherited ideas, institutions and technologies, while also coming up against palpable limits on what can be imagined or achieved, secured or defended. This volume investigates some of these trajectories for the cultural logics and social or political structures that shape them. The chapters are highly ethnographic, based on in-depth research conducted in diverse spaces within and beyond Papua. These contributions explore topics ranging from hip hop to HIV/ AIDS to historicity, filling much-needed conceptual and ethnographic lacunae in the study of West Papua.