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From Modern Production to Imagined Primitive: The Social World of Coffee from Papua New Guinea by Paige West (review)

From Modern Production to Imagined Primitive: The Social World of Coffee from Papua New Guinea by... book and media reviews "symbols of . . . timeless feeling," and her analysis dissipates into grandiose comparisons of bowls and canoes with comets and stars, an oddly ephemeral conclusion to such a well-grounded volume (308). The book ends with chapters by Peter Hempenstall and Aletta Biersack summarizing the volume's themes. Both are complimentary but offer critical insights and suggestions for future work. For example, Hempenstall points out that a consideration of Christianity's role in social transformations was "conspicuously absent in any systematic examination" at the original symposium and reflected in the chapters here (321). Biersack concludes her comprehensive overview with a well-considered list of "lessons" from the volume that also point to future possibilities. The volume's strength is its vibrant heterogeneity married to sure expertise--here are well-established scholars investigating the depths and nuances of topics they have spent decades thinking about. Its weakness is that by traveling on such well-trodden paths some of the contributors find it difficult to locate new paths, new directions toward unexpected endpoints on our scholarly maps. Or, to put it bluntly: all of the arguments in this volume are worthwhile and valid, but few of them push us to places we haven't http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Contemporary Pacific University of Hawai'I Press

From Modern Production to Imagined Primitive: The Social World of Coffee from Papua New Guinea by Paige West (review)

The Contemporary Pacific , Volume 25 (1) – Mar 27, 2013

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1527-9464
Publisher site
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Abstract

book and media reviews "symbols of . . . timeless feeling," and her analysis dissipates into grandiose comparisons of bowls and canoes with comets and stars, an oddly ephemeral conclusion to such a well-grounded volume (308). The book ends with chapters by Peter Hempenstall and Aletta Biersack summarizing the volume's themes. Both are complimentary but offer critical insights and suggestions for future work. For example, Hempenstall points out that a consideration of Christianity's role in social transformations was "conspicuously absent in any systematic examination" at the original symposium and reflected in the chapters here (321). Biersack concludes her comprehensive overview with a well-considered list of "lessons" from the volume that also point to future possibilities. The volume's strength is its vibrant heterogeneity married to sure expertise--here are well-established scholars investigating the depths and nuances of topics they have spent decades thinking about. Its weakness is that by traveling on such well-trodden paths some of the contributors find it difficult to locate new paths, new directions toward unexpected endpoints on our scholarly maps. Or, to put it bluntly: all of the arguments in this volume are worthwhile and valid, but few of them push us to places we haven't

Journal

The Contemporary PacificUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Mar 27, 2013

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