I am a political anthropologist with a commitment to transdisciplinary explorations, speaking, in particular, to development, peace and conflict studies as well as food research. This commitment is reflected in ongoing projects and publications that explore everyday visibilities of global systems and their gendered dimension in Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea. A focus on the everyday allows me to engage with the problematic temporalities of international development and peacebuilding. While global initiatives, such as the Sustainable Development Goals, are essentially future-oriented, my research pays attention to how the present often reflects “interrupted futures,” failed promises that accompanied previous development programmes.
My focus on the everyday builds on my doctoral thesis, “An Ethnographic Study of the State in Rural Solomon Islands (Lau, North Malaita): A Quest for Autonomy in Global Dependencies.” Here I examined how the Solomon Islands state, marked by a history of colonial and aid dependancies, becomes visible in the everyday lives of rural and, to a lesser degree, urban non-elites; and how this visibility affects non-elite perceptions of, and engagements with, the liberal state as legitimate and globally dominant political-economic system. My postdoctoral research expanded my analytical lens to the Bariai coast in West New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea. This project teased out the increasing role of digital technologies in mediating state-society relations, and how this mediation links to gendered experiences with political-economic development.