My dissertation Syncretism, Traditionalism and Nationalism in Vanuatu (2000) explored the politics of identity and indigenous movements in Vanuatu. Between 1993 and 2007 I have completed over forty months of fieldwork in Vanuatu. Since 2009 I am permanently based in Vanuatu. For the last twenty years my research has been primarily on drastic social and cultural change in Vanuatu and Melanesia (politics of identity, nation building, nationalism, indigenous movements, millenarianism, secularization, new religious influences, colonial heritage, franconesia, geo-politics in the Pacific).

Since 2000 I’ve been affiliated with CREDO (Centre de Recherche et de Documentation sur l’Océanie) in Marseilles, first as a Research Fellow and, since 2006, as a tenured Senior Research Fellow. Prior to this, I worked at the French National Library for a decade, where I was the curator for anthropology. For having contributed to the creation of the Tafea Kaljoral Senta (TKS), a major branch of the Vanuatu Cultural Centre, I was nominated “Honorary Curator of the VKS” and received in 2011 the Vanuatu General Service Medal.

To date, I have published two books (Les pouvoirs de la coutume à Vanuatu: traditionalisme et édification nationale. Paris : L’Harmattan, 2002 ; Une Pirogue pour le Paradis : le culte de John Frum à Tanna. Paris : Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, 2008), edited several other ones along with the publishing of several articles in international journals. My interests also include documentary film and I produced a 2005 documentary, Alors vint John Frum : une tragédie cultuelle des Mers du Sud. (CNRS/CREDO, 75 minutes).

Experience

  • –present
    Senior Research Fellow, Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS)