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Living in the Stone AgeReflections on the Origins of a Colonial Fantasy$
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Danilyn Rutherford

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780226570105

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226570389.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 02 June 2020

Technological Passions

Technological Passions

(p.85) 3 Technological Passions
Living in the Stone Age

Danilyn Rutherford

University of Chicago Press

Chapter 3 goes back in time to Jan van Eechoud’s first expedition in the Meervlakte region and the way he describes it in his memoir as an experience that enabled him to become an effective component of what I will call “the trekking machine”: the assemblage of men and materiel that made it possible for colonial officials to imagine they were capable of taking control of New Guinea. The chapter focuses on the feelings technologies inspire, and the feelings that fuel them, to show how van Eechoud trained his body for his new role in the course of setting out to train the Stone Age Papuans for their incorporation into the colonial state. In a fashion parallel to that illuminated in chapter 2, the passions associated with technology turn out to be ineradicable elements of this colonial situation. At the same time, the affects born of this situation serve as technologies in their own right. The bulk of the chapter offers an analysis of van Eechoud’s memoir, With Compass and Machete through New Guinea. The chapter ends with a brief discussion of anthropologists’ own dependence on technologies of various sorts.

Keywords:   Meervlakte, technological assemblages, affect, dependence, colonial expeditions, Jan van Eechoud, anthropology, With Compass and Machete through New Guinea

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