James Leach publications

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Publications - Books

2014 Subversion, Conversion, Development: Cross Cultural Knowledge Encounter and the Politics of Design (edited with Lee Wilson), The MIT Press, ‘Infrastructures Series’ (eds. Geof Bowker, Paul Edwards). http://mitpress.mit.edu/books/subversion-conversion-development

2010 (co authored with Porer Nombo) Reite Plants. An Ethno-botanical Study in Tok Pisin and English, Canberra: ANU EPress (Asia-Pacific Environment Monographs Series 4) http://epress.anu.edu.au/reite_plants_citation.html

2009 (ed. with Sandra Bamford) Genealogy Beyond Kinship. Sequence, Transmission and Essence in Social Theory and Beyond. Contributors: Jeanette Edwards, Tim Ingold, Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, Gisli Palsson, Rita Astuti, Rebecca Cassidy, Hillary Cunningham, Sandra Bamford, James Leach. Oxford: Berghahn Books. http://www.berghahnbooks.com/title.php?rowtag=BamfordKinship

2004 (with Simon Biggs) Autopoeisis: novelty, meaning and value. Artwords and Sheffield Hallam University Press.

2003 Creative Land. Place and procreation on the Rai Coast of Papua New Guinea. Oxford and New York: Berghahn Books. http://www.berghahnbooks.com/title.php?rowtag=LeachCreative

2001 (ed. with Lawrence Kalinoe) Rationales of Ownership. Ethnographic Studies of transactions and claims to ownership in contemporary Papua New Guinea. New Delhi and Port Moresby: U.B.S. Publishers’ Distributors Ltd./UPNG Law Faculty Publication Unit.

Reissued (2004) by Sean Kingston Publishing. Contributors: Tony Crook, Melissa Demian, Eric Hirsch, Stuart Kirsch, Laurence Kalinoe, James Leach, Marilyn Strathern. www.seankingston.co.uk

Peer Reviewed Journals - Editor

2012 Guest Ed. with Richard Davis, Special Issue Recognising and Translating Knowledge. Anthropological Forum: A Journal of Social Anthropology and Comparative Sociology, 22:3.

2006 Leonardo Special Section: Arts and Humanities Research Council/Arts Council England ‘Arts and Science Research Fellowship Scheme’. Co-edited with Bronac Ferran and Tony White, Leonardo 39(5).

Articles in Peer Reviewed Journals

2013 ‘We will make a man out of you’. Taro styles and Initiation Brands on the Rai Coast of Papua New Guinea’. UC Davis Law Review 47:2 pp 633-655.

2013 ‘Choreographic Objects: contemporary dance, digital creations, and prototyping social visibility.’ Prototyping Cultures: art, science and politics in beta. ed. Alberto Corsin-Jimenez, Special Issue: Journal of Cultural Economy.

2012 ‘Leaving the Magic Out: Knowledge and Effect in Different Places’, Anthropological Forum: A Journal of Social Anthropology and Comparative Sociology, 22:3, 251-270

2012 (with Richard Davis) ‘Recognising and Translating Knowledge: Navigating the Political, Epistemological, Legal and Ontological’, Anthropological Forum: A Journal of Social Anthropology and Comparative Sociology, 22:3, 209-223

2012 ‘La Mort du Tambor. Choses uniques sur la rai Coast de Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée’, Techniques & Culture 58: 28-47.

2012 ‘Constituting aesthetics and utility. Copyright, patent, and the purification of knowledge objects in and art and science collaboration’, HAU Journal of Ethnographic Theory 2 (1) : 248-267.

2011 ‘The Self of the Scientist: Material for the Artist. Emergent Distinctions in Interdisciplinary Collaborations’ Social Analysis 55(3): 143-163.

2011 ‘Twenty Toea has no power any more’: property, customary tenure, and pressure on land near the Ramu Nickel Project Area, Madang, PNG. Pacific Studies 34 (2/3): 295-322.

2009 (with Dawn Nafus and Bernhard Krieger) ‘Freedom Imagined. Ethics and Aesthetics in Open Source Software Design’. Ethnos 74:1, pp 51-71.

2008 (with Lorraine V. Aragon) ‘Arts and Owners: Intellectual Property Law and the Politics of Scale in Indonesian Arts.’ American Ethnologist Vol. 35, No. 4, pp. 607–631

2006 ‘Extending Contexts, Making Possibilities’ Leonardo 39(5): 447-451.

2006 ‘Team Spirit’. Generating Community and the Pervasive Influence of Place formation in a Contemporary Papua New Guinean Setting’. Journal of Material Culture 11, (1 + 2 Special Edition in Honour of Barbara Bender, (ed) C. Tilley).

2006 ‘Vies et viscères: récits d’extraction d’organes sur la Rai Coast de Papouasie–Nouvelle–Guinée.’ Cahiers du Pacifique Sud Contemporain 4. À L'épreuve du capitalisme. Dynamiques économiques dans le Pacifique, Paris: L'Harmattan. pp130-158.

2005 ‘Being in Between. Art-Science Collaborations and a Technological Culture’. Social Analysis 49 (1) 141-160.

2003 ‘Owning Creativity. Cultural Property and the Efficacy of Kastom on the Rai Coast of PNG’ Journal of Material Culture 8(2): 123-143.

2002 ‘Drum and Voice. Aesthetics and social process on the Rai Coast of Papua New Guinea’, (Winner of the 1999 J.B. Donne essay prize in the Anthropology of Art) Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (N.S.) 8, 713-734.

2000 (with H. Englund) ‘Ethnography and the Meta-Narratives of Modernity.’ Current Anthropology 41(2): 225-248.

2000 ‘Situated Connections: rights and intellectual resources in a Rai Coast Society.’ Social Anthropology 8(2): 163-179.

2000 ‘Multiple Expectations of Ownership’. Melanesian Law Review (Special Issue on Transaction and Transmission of Indigenous Knowledge and Expressions of Culture) 27: 63-76.

1999 ‘Singing the Forest: composition and evocation among a Papua New Guinea People.’ Resonance (Journal of the London Musicians’ Collective) 7.2 pp. 24-27, with 16 minutes original sound recording published on accompanying CD.

Chapters in Peer Reviewed Edited Volumes

f/c ‘Making knowledge from movement. The contextual impetus to re-present dance practice’, in Transmission in Motion, ed. Maaike Bleeker, Cambridge MA: The MIT Press.

2013 ‘Waterfall, Movement, Life. Dyed Bark Fibre Skirts in Reite’ in Melanesia: Art and Encounter (eds) L. Bolton, N Thomas, E Bonshek, J Adams and B. Burt, London: British Museum Press. pp. 83-91.

2012 Creativity as a Social Relation? in Remediating the Social, ed. S. Biggs, ELMCIP/The University of Edinburgh: Edinburgh.

2012 ‘Step Inside: The Politics of (making) knowledge objects, in The Politics of Knowledge (eds) Patrick Beart and Fernando Rubio, London: Routledge. pp: 79-95.

2010 ‘Intervening with the social? Ethnographic practice and Tarde’s image of relations between subjects’, in M. Candea, `The Social After Gabriel Tarde’ London: Routledge. Pp: 191-207

2009 ‘Knowledge as Kinship. Mutable essence and the significance of transmission on the Rai Coast of PNG’ in Genealogy Beyond Kinship. Sequence, Transmission and Essence in Social Theory and Beyond, (eds) Sandra Bamford and James Leach, Oxford: Berghahn Books. Pp: 175-192.

2008 ‘An Anthropological Approach to Transactions involving Names and Marks, drawing on Melanesia’, in Trademarks and Brands, an Interdisciplinary Critique, (eds.) Lionel Bently, Jennifer Davis and Jane Ginsburg, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.319-342.

2007 ‘Creativity, Subjectivity, and the Dynamic of Possessive Individualism’ in Creativity and Cultural Improvisation (eds.) T. Ingold and E. Hallam, ASA Monograph 43. Oxford: Berg. Pp: 99-118.

2007 ‘Differentiation and encompassment: A critique of Alfred Gell’s theory of creativity.’ in Thinking Through Things, (eds.) Ami Henare, Martin Holbraad and Sari Wastell, London: Routledge. pp: 167-188.

2006 ‘Out of Proportion? Anthropological Description of Power, Regeneration and Scale on the Rai Coast of PNG’, in Locating the Field. Space, Place and Context in Anthropology (eds) Simon Coleman and Peter Collins. ASA Monograph 42, pp 149-162. Berg: Oxford.

2005 ‘Livers and Lives: Organ extraction narratives on the Rai Coast of Papua New Guinea’. in Commodification. Things, Agency, and Identities (The Social Life of Things Revisited) (eds.) Peter Geschiere and Wim van Binsbergen, LIT Verlag: Munster.

2005 ‘Disciplinary Specialisation and Collaborative Endeavour: some challenges presented by sci-art projects’. University of Dundee School of Fine Art/Visual Research Centre publication series ‘Learning is understanding in practice’ ISBN: 0-9549977-2-7

2005 ‘Modes of Creativity and the Register of Ownership’, in CODE. Collaboration and Ownership in the Digital Economy (ed) Rishab Aiyer Ghosh, Cambridge M.A.: MIT Press. Pp: 29-44.

2004 ‘Modes of Creativity’ in Transactions and Creations. Property Debates and the Stimulus of Melanesia. (eds). E. Hirsch and M. Strathern, Oxford: Berghahn Books. Pp: 152-175

2001 ‘Land, Trees and History. Disputes involving boundaries and identities in the context of development’, in (eds.) L. Kalinoe and J. Leach, Rationales of Ownership. Pp: 42-56. Ethnographic Studies of transactions and claims to ownership in contemporary Papua New Guinea. New Delhi and Port Moresby: U.B.S. Publishers’ Distributors Ltd./UPNG Law Faculty Publication Unit.


2010. (with Lee Wilson) ‘Arts and Humanities Research, Citizenship and an Innovative Society’. In Changing the World: the Value of Humanities Research. AHRC.

2009 Enabling Innovation. Creative Investments in Arts and Humanities Research. Provocation paper for AHRC Policy Seminar, Work Foundation, London.

2009 Choreographic Objects. Traces and Artefacts of Physical Intelligence.

2006 Extending Contexts, Making Possibilities. A Report on the Arts and Humanities Research Council/Arts Council England ‘Art and Science Research Fellowships’.

2006 Free/Libre and Open Source Software: Policy Support (FLOSSPOLS) D 16, Gender: Integrated Report of Findings, with Dawn Nafus and Bernhard Krieger (www.flosspols.org).

2005 Statement on Copyright and the Traditional Arts in Indonesia (co-authored). http://www.ssrc.org/programs/ccit/ip/indonesian-arts/

2003 Rapporteur’s Report and Research Agenda Brief on ‘Traditional Knowledge’. Social Science Research Council, New York (www.ssrc.org).

2003 Evaluation paper commenting on Social Process in the New Technology Arts Fellowships. www.junction.co.uk/ntaf/anthrop.html

1995 ‘Contemporary material culture of Nekgini Speakers, Rai Coast, PNG.’ British Museum Ethnodoc: Leach ‘95. 40 pages + 72 photographs.

1991 'Impacts of Tourism around a National Park' (co-authored). Manchester University Zoconnis Trust Report. 120 pages.


2012 The Task of Anthropology is to Invent Relations. Against the Motion: Group for Debates in Anthropological Theory, Critique of Anthropology 32(1).

2010 A Social Prototype (with Chris Kelty) // Cross Cultural partnership Template (with Wendy Seltzer) Anthropological Research on the Contemporary Episode 3.

2007/8 Partnership Agreement Template. Co-authored with Wendy Selzer, (Birkman Centre for Media Law, Harvard University). http://newmedia.umaine.edu/stillwater/partnership/partnership_template.html

2004 ‘A Dispersed Creativity, or, Persons and Their Boundaries: some broader issues involved in the ownership of Intellectual; Property’. Cambridge Anthropology 24 (1): 21-27.

2002 ‘The Generation of the Free/Open Source Community and the Conditions of Creativity’. www.infonomics.nl/FLOSS/workshop/papers/leach.htm

2001 ‘Comment’ on Joel S. Kahn ‘Anthropology and Modernity’, Current Anthropology 42:(5) 667-8.

1998 'Where does creativity reside: imagining places on the Rai Coast of Papua New Guinea'. Cambridge Anthropology 20: 1-2. 16-21.