Aletta Biersack’s coedited volume “Gender Violence and Human Rights” now available

February 2, 2017—Cultural anthropologist Aletta Biersack, whose research in Papua, New Guinea, has been supported in part by a CSWS Faculty Research Grant, has two new volumes just out. The University of Oregon professor emerita of anthropology is coeditor of Gender Violence and Human Rights: Seeking Justice in Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu (Australian National University Press, 2016) and also of Emergent Masculinities in the Pacific (special issue of The Asia and Pacific Journal of Anthropology), both of which will be promoted at an upcoming conference in Hawaii. Both volumes emerged through CSWS funding, as Prof. Biersack’s participation in the key panels in the development of these volumes was supported by CSWS.

Gender Violence and Human Rights: Seeking Justice in Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu, coedited by Aletta Biersack, professor, UO Department of Anthropology (Australian National University Press, December 2016)

Currently, Gender Violence and Human Rights can be accessed free of charge at:

Synopsis: The postcolonial states of Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu operate today in a global arena in which human rights are widely accepted. As ratifiers of UN treaties such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, these Pacific Island countries have committed to promoting women’s and girls’ rights, including the right to a life free of violence. Yet local, national and regional gender values are not always consistent with the principles of gender equality and women’s rights that undergird these globalising conventions. This volume critically interrogates the relation between gender violence and human rights as these three countries and their communities and citizens engage with, appropriate, modify and at times resist human rights principles and their implications for gender violence. Grounded in extensive anthropological, historical and legal research, the volume should prove a crucial resource for the many scholars, policymakers and activists who are concerned about the urgent and ubiquitous problem of gender violence in the western Pacific.

The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology
“Emergent Masculinities in the Pacific”
Guest Editors: Aletta Biersack and Martha Macintyre

This special issue focuses on the plasticity and contingent nature of Pacific Island masculinities over the course of colonial and postcolonial histories.

FREE ACCESS DURING FEBRUARY 2017: For free access to articles from this special issue, please visit