University of south pacific
Edvard Hviding is Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Bergen in Norway, and the founding director of the Bergen Pacific Studies Research Group. At the University of Bergen he also holds the academic responsibility for the bilateral MoU with The University of the South Pacific (USP) on research, education and performing arts. In 2012-16, he was the scientific coordinator of the European Consortium for Pacific Studies (ECOPAS, funded by the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme), in which The University of the South Pacific was a major partner through the Oceania Centre for Arts, Culture and Pacific Studies (OCACPS) and PaCE-SD. In 2008-12 he directed the international research programme Pacific Alternatives: Cultural Heritage and Political Innovation in Oceania (funded by the Research Council of Norway with 12 participating institutions including USP participation by Dr. Joeli Veitayaki and Professor Vilsoni Hereniko). In 2012-13 he was Chair of the Association for Social Anthropology in Oceania (ASAO). Edvard Hviding has a long research record in the Pacific. Since 1986 he has carried out about four years of fieldwork in Solomon Islands, mainly in the Marovo Lagoon of the Western Province. He has also travelled and worked in Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Fiji, New Caledonia, Cook Islands, Samoa, and Hawai’i, and during the 1990s was engaged in a series of regional projects of fisheries management. For his efforts in developing vernacular environmental education and research dissemination in the Western Solomons, he was awarded the Silver Medal of the Order of Solomon Islands in 2010. His anthropological research has taken place in cooperation with colleagues at the University of Hawai’i, the University of the South Pacific, James Cook University, the University of Cambridge, the British Museum, and UNESCO. Edvard Hviding’s research interests in Pacific Studies cover many interrelated topics in social, environmental and historical anthropology, including fishing, agroforestry and the customary tenure of sea and land; kinship and social organization; the cultural history and languages of New Georgia; colonial encounters; environmental knowledge and epistemology; customary law, leadership and dispossession; and the local manifestations and consequences of globalization. Most recently he has initiated a programme of comparative anthropological research on vernacular models of, and Pacific policies concerning, changes in environment, weather and climate. As part of this recent research Edvard and his research team carry out fieldwork in many Pacific locations, as well as at regional and global meetings where the island nations of Oceania engage with the wider world to ensure the future of the region’s islands and ocean in an era of climate change and sea level rise. Among his publications are the monographs Guardians of Marovo Lagoon (1996), Islands of Rainforest (with T. Bayliss-Smith, 2000) and the multilingual Reef and Rainforest: An Environmental Encyclopedia of Marovo Lagoon (2005 and 2011), and the edited volumes Made in Oceania (2011, with K.M. Rio), The Ethnographic Experiment (2014, with C. Berg), and Pacific Alternatives (2015, with G.M. White). As part of the ECOPAS project and its collaboration with USP, Edvard Hviding had the role as Executive Producer and European Tour Organiser of the renowned Oceania Centre’s climate change drama Moana: The Rising of the Sea, which was invited to Norway by the University of Bergen and the Bergen International Festival in 2015. In Bergen the Oceania Centre’s artists performed for the Queen and Prime Minister of Norway, gave two shows of Moana on major festival stages (including the Oseana opera house where the show became the film version Moana Rua), and appeared at a church concert and in the city’s public spaces, with extraordinary media attention and public impact. The three-country European Tour that followed included a performance in the European Parliament. The film version Moana Rua was later screened at the COP21 climate change summit in Paris. Edvard continues his work with the Oceania Centre’s artists and artistic directors, now with a wider focus on the future of the Pacific Ocean.
Arts and Media