Patrolling the Past to Explore the (de)Colonial Gaze

Who controls knowledge? How is indigenous knowledge shared, preserved, and maintained? Through an examination of the recently-digitized Papua New Guinea Patrol Reports in the Melanesian Archive at the UC San Diego Library, students dive into first-hand accounts from the post-World War II era of Papua New Guinea (PNG).  During our journey, we will explore how remote indigenous communities were documented by kiaps or patrol officers, capturing information on village life such as census figures, languages spoken, health, food supply, tribal warfare and other local conditions.  What were the key characteristics noted by these “explorers?”

This course is through the Culture, Art, and Technology Program at Sixth College of the University of California, San Diego.  In this course, students learn skills and address topics such as:

  • Data coding, analysis, and management skills
  • Developing confidence in using primary sources for research
  • Understanding the process of digitization and the issues around it
  • Digitally curating data for public

View the full class syllabus for Summer 2018.

Explore the assignments for the course.

Meet the students.

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