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Dr Anthony Pickles

Dr Anthony Pickles

British Academy Fellow, Department of Social Anthropology

Research Interests

Gambling, money, cards, slot machines, pockets, economic anthropology, history of anthropology, Melanesia, leadership, comparison, change.

My book examines how money and its value are manipulated during transactions in an urban Papua New Guinea context whose economy has been totally redefined by colonialism and capitalism. I look particularly at gambling, an introduced and now wildly popular activity in the Western Pacific as a whole. I have also written on the reimagining of other one-time-exogenous economic materials, practices or terms.

I am currently researching and writing a history of colonialism and economic change in the Western Pacific, using the lens of gambling to explore the subaltern experience of new economic forms.

Key Publications

Pickles, A.J., 2019. Money Games: Gambling in a Papua New Guinea Town, Association for Social Anthropology in Oceania (ASAO) Studies in Pacific Anthropology Series, New York & Oxford: Berghahn Books.
Journal Special Issues
Pickles, A.J., 2014. ‘Melanesian Gambling as Analytic’, Special Issue of Oceania 84:3.
Journal Articles
Pickles, A.J., In Press. ‘Distribution and Denomination in Papua New Guinea: A Field Method and the Results’, Journal of Cultural Economy.
Pickles, A.J., In Press. ‘Transfers: a Deductive Approach to Gifts, Gambles, and Economy at Large [And Comments and Reply]’, Current Anthropology.
Pickles, A.J., 2017, ‘To Excel at Bridewealth, or Ceremonies of Office', Anthropology Today 33:1: 19-22.
Pickles, A.J., 2014. ‘Bom Bombed Kwin': How Two Card Games Model KulaMoka, and Goroka', Oceania (Special Issue) 84:3: 272-288.
Pickles, A.J., 2014. ‘Introduction: Gambling as Analytic in Melanesia', Oceania (Special Issue) 84:3: 207-221.
Pickles, A.J., 2013. ‘Pocket Calculator: A Humdrum ‘Obviator' in Papua New Guinea?', Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (JRAI) 19:3: 510-526.
Pickles, A.J., 2009. ‘Part and Whole Numbers: An ‘Enumerative' Reinterpretation of the Cambridge Anthropological Expedition to Torres Straits and Its Subjects', Oceania 79:3: 293-315.
Peer-Reviewed Book Chapters
Pickles, A.J., 2014. ‘Gambling Futures: Playing the Imminent in Highland Papua New Guinea', in Will Rollason (ed.) Pacific Futures: Projects, Politics and Interests, New York: Berghahn, 96-113
Pickles, A.J., 2013. ‘'One-Man One-Man': How Slot-Machines facilitate Papua New Guineans' Shifting Relations to Each Other’, in Rebecca Cassidy, Claire Loussouarn and Andrea Pisac (eds.) Qualitative Research in Gambling: Exploring the Production and Consumption of Risk, Oxford: Routledge, 171–184
Encyclopedia Entries
Pickles, A.J., 2016. ‘Gambling’, Cambridge Online Encyclopedia of Social and Cultural Anthropology