SOPHIE CHAO

Academic. Activist. Multispecies ethnographer.

Hello and welcome to morethanhumanworlds

 

I am a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Sydney’s School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry. As an environmental anthropologist,my research explores the intersections of capitalism, ecology, and indigeneity in the Pacific. In particular, I'm interested in the changing relationships between plants and people across indigenous, corporate, and scientific contexts. My theoretical thinking is inspired by interdisciplinary posthumanist currents including multispecies ethnography and the environmental humanities, as well as plant science and Science and Technology Studies. I'm now embarking on a new project that will investigate the nutritional and cultural impacts of agribusiness on indigenous food-based socialities, identities, and ecologies.

 

I received my Bachelor of Arts in Oriental Studies (First Class) and Master of Science in Social Anthropology from The University of Oxford. My PhD at Macquarie University was funded by an International Endeavour Scholarship and was awarded the Australian Anthropological Society Best PhD Thesis Prize and the Macquarie University Vice-Chancellor’s Commendation in 2019. This research was based on long-term ethnographic fieldwork in rural West Papua, where I examined how deforestation and monocrop oil palm expansion reconfigure the multispecies lifeworld of indigenous Marind communities. 

Prior to my PhD, I worked for international indigenous rights organization Forest Peoples Programme in the United Kingdom and Indonesia. I have also undertaken consultancies for United Nations bodies including the Food and Agriculture Organisation and the United Nations Working Group on the Issue of Human Rights and Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises.

I am currently Secretary on the Executive Committee of the Australian Anthropological Society (AAS), Co-Convenor of the Australian Food, Society, and Culture Network (AFSCN), and Co-Convener of the Biopolitics of Science (BoS) Research Network at the University of Sydney.

I am keen to forge meaningful collaborations and conversations with indigenous and decolonial academics, artists, and activists in Australia and beyond, towards a better understanding of and relation to, morethanhuman worlds.

WHY MORETHANHUMANWORLDS?

 

We live in an era in which humans have become the single most influential geological force on the planet. This epoch, coined the Anthropocene, is also one of mass species extinction, ecological destruction, and precarious futures for humans and for the myriad other-than-human lifeforms that our existence and wellbeing depend upon. Addressing the anthropogenic crisis will require nothing less than recognizing and protecting the morethanhuman worlds that we inherit, inhabit, and eventually pass on. Morethanhuman worlds encompass plants, animals, elements, climates, and differently situated human communities that unequally bear the burden of ecological ruin and repair. Importantly, morethanhuman worlds invite us to rethink the diverse entanglements of humans with otherthanhuman life, matter, and meaning. Making and remaking such morethanhuman worlds requires care, courage, creativity, and collaboration, as we work within and across species lines towards more livable shared futures.

PUBLICATIONS

Below are selected peer-reviewed articles published in anthropology and interdisciplinary journals, as well as pieces published in non-academic outlets including popular anthropology magazines and NGO reports. For a complete list, please see my CV.

 

CHILDREN OF THE PALMS: GROWING PLANTS AND GROWING PEOPLE IN MERAUKE, WEST PAPUA. 

forthcoming

Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (formerly Man). Accepted.

THE BEETLE OR THE BUG? MULTISPECIES POLITICS IN A WEST PAPUAN  OIL PALM PLANTATION

forthcoming

American Anthropologist. Accepted.

A TREE OF MANY LIVES: VEGETAL TELEONTOLOGIES IN WEST PAPUA

forthcoming

HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory. Accepted.

WRATHFUL ANCESTORS, CORPORATE SORCERERS: RITUALS GONE ROGUE IN MERAUKE, WEST PAPUA

2019

Oceania. 89(3): 266 - 283. DOI: 10.1002/ocea.5229.

THE PLASTIC CASSOWARY: PROBLEMATIC ‘PETS’ IN WEST PAPUA

2019

Ethnos 84(5): 828 – 848. DOI: 10.1080/00141844.2018.1502798.

IN THE SHADOW OF THE PALM: DISPERSED ONTOLOGIES AMONG MARIND, WEST PAPUA

2018

Cultural Anthropology 33(4): 621 – 649. DOI: 10.14506/ca33.4.08. Available online.

SEED CARE IN THE OIL PALM SECTOR

2018

Environmental Humanities 10(2): 421 – 446. DOI: 10.1215/22011919-7156816. Available online.

'THERE ARE NO STRAIGHT LINES IN NATURE’: MAKING LIVING MAPS IN WEST PAPUA

2017

Anthropology Now 9(1): 16 – 33. DOI: 10.1080/19428200.2017.1291014.

TEACHING ONTOLOGIES AND ACTIVISM WITH SOPHIE CHAO

2019

By Salovaara, Isabel M. and Shelmith Wanjiru. Teaching Tools, Cultural Anthropology website, 15 February. Available online.

MATTERS OF CARE: SPECULATIVE ETHICS IN MORE THAN HUMAN WORLDS. BOOK REVIEW.

forthcoming

Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience. 

ENGAGED ANTHROPOLOGY: POLITICS BEYOND THE TEXT. BOOK REVIEW.

forthcoming

Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute. 

PALMA AFRICANA. BOOK REVIEW.

2019

American Anthropologist 121(3): 784 - 785. DOI: 10.1111/aman.13280.

FROM ‘STONE AGE’ TO ‘REAL-TIME’: EXPLORING PAPUAN TEMPORALITIES, MOBILITIES AND RELIGIOSITIES. BOOK REVIEW.

2016

The Australian Journal of Anthropology 27(3): 410 – 411. DOI: 10.1111/taja.12214

ELUSIVE CAIMANS AND THE ANTHROPOLOGIST AS DEVIL

2016

Anthropology Now 8(1): 132 – 138. DOI: 10.1080/19428200.2016.1154775.

IN THE PLANTATIONS THERE IS HUNGER AND LONELINESS: THE CULTURAL DIMENSIONS OF FOOD INSECURITY IN PAPUA

14 July 2020

The Gecko Project/Mongabay. Available online

WETNESS

forthcoming

Art+Australia.

WHY MULTISPECIES ETHNOGRAPHY MATTERS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

forthcoming

Right Now.

ENCOUNTERING THE TRAVELLER'S PALM

7 July 2020

The Urban Field Naturalist Project. Available online.

HEALTH, HARM, HABITUS:  TECHNIQUES OF THE BODY IN COVID-19

7 July 2020

Thesis Eleven. Online collection: Thinking and Living with Crisis. Available online.

AMPHIBIOUS JUSTICE

22 June 2020

Sydney Environment Institute. Available online

WEST PAPUA AND BLACK LIVES MATTER

17 June 2020

Inside Indonesia. Available online.

HOW COVID-19 MAKES US USE OUR BODIES DIFFERENTLY

11 May 2020

The Familiar Strange. Available online.

WHEN CRISIS BRINGS US CLOSER: REFLECTIONS ON FAMILY, FIELDWORK, AND FARAWAY HOMES IN THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

31 March 2020

Somatosphere. Available online.

CORPORATE "SORCERERS" REVEAL THE MAGICAL POWER OF CAPITALISM

22 January 2020

SAPIENS. Available online.

A WORLD OF ASHES

9 January 2020

Sydney Environment Institute. Available online.

FOOD, HUNGER, AND CULTURE

November 2019

SOPHI Magazine. Issue 8 (Summer 2019). School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry. University of Sydney. Available online.

HUNGER AND CULTURE IN WEST PAPUA

31 October 2019

Inside Indonesia. Available online.

IN WEST PAPUA, OIL PALM EXPANSION UNDERMINES THE RELATIONS OF INDIGENOUS MARIND TO FOREST PLANTS AND ANIMALS

16 October 2019

The Conversation. Available online (and in Indonesian).

RACE, RIGHTS, AND RESISTANCE: THE WEST PAPUA PROTESTS IN CONTEXT

4 September 2019

Op-ed. Turkish Radio and Television (TRT World). Available online.

CULTIVATING CONSENT: OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES IN THE WEST PAPUAN OIL PALM SECTOR

26 August 2019

New Mandala. Read online.

HUNGER IN THE RUBBLE OF THE FOREST

9 August 2019

The Paper. Available online.

SAGO: A STORIED SPECIES OF WEST PAPUA

23 May 2019

The Living Archive: Extinction Stories from Oceania. Available online.

THE TRUTH ABOUT “SUSTAINABLE” PALM OIL

13 June 2019

SAPIENS. Available online. (Selected in Editors' Top Ten 2019).

CULTURE, FOOD, AND ENVIRONMENT: INDIGENOUS EXPERIENCES OF HUNGER IN WEST PAPUA

12 June 2019

Sydney Environment Institute. Available online.

IS HUNGER CULTURE-BOUND?

6 June 2019

Somatosphere. Available online.

IN DEFORESTATION’S WAKE, WILD ANIMALS TURN TROUBLESOME

20 September 2016

SAPIENS (Voted Editor’s Top Choice in 2016). Available online.

PLANTWORLDS IN WEST PAPUA

21 June 2016

Engagement: Anthropology and Environment Society. American Anthropological Association. Available online.

RESPECTING COMMUNITIES' RIGHTS TO THEIR LANDS AND TO FREE, PRIOR, AND INFORMED CONSENT THROUGH THE HIGH CARBON STOCK APPROACH

2017

In HCS Approach Toolkit, edited by Grant Rosoman, Su Shin Sheun, Charlotte Opal, Patrick Anderson, and Ravin Trapshah, 4 – 25. Singapore: HCS Approach Steering Group. With Marcus Colchester and Patrick Anderson. Available online.

FREE, PRIOR, AND INFORMED CONSENT: GUIDE FOR RSPO MEMBERS

2015

Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. With Marcus Colchester, Patrick Anderson, and Holly Jonas. Available online.

DECLARATION OF LAND AS OUR SPIRITUAL MOTHER

2015

45-minute documentary co-produced with Jacob Perrott. Available online.

KALAU TANAH ADAT DAN HUTAN ADAT KITA HABIS, KITORANG MAU KE MANA LAGI?

2015

With Seksi Justice, Peace and Integration of Creation (JPIC) and Paroki Santa Teresia Kanak-Kanak Yesus Muting. Available online.

CONFLICT OR CONSENT? THE PALM OIL SECTOR AT A CROSSROADS

2013

Bogor: Forest Peoples Programme and Sawit Watch. With Marcus Colchester. Available online.

AGRIBUSINESS LARGE-SCALE LAND ACQUISITIONS AND HUMAN RIGHTS IN SOUTHEAST ASIA: UPDATES FROM INDONESIA, THAILAND, PHILIPPINES, MALAYSIA, CAMBODIA, TIMOR-LESTE AND BURMA

2013

Moreton-in-Marsh: Forest Peoples Programme. Available online.

THE ROUNDTABLE ON SUSTAINABLE PALM OIL AND COMPLAINT RESOLUTION: GUIDANCE FOR CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS AND AFFECTED LOCAL COMMUNITIES

2013

Moreton-in-Marsh: Forest Peoples Programme. Available online.

MONITORING PROTOCOL ON HIGH CONSERVATION VALUE AREAS 5 AND 6, WITH GUIDELINES ON BEST PRACTICES IN COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

2013

Bogor: Forest Peoples Programme and Zoological Society of London. With Marcus Colchester. Available online.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND AGRIBUSINESS: PLURAL LEGAL APPROACHES TO CONFLICT RESOLUTION, INSTITUTIONAL STRENGTHENING AND LEGAL REFORM

2012

Moreton-in-Marsh and Bogor: Forest Peoples Programme and Sawit Watch. With Marcus Colchester. Available online.

DIVERS PATHS TO JUSTICE: LEGAL PLURALISM AND THE RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES IN SOUTHEAST ASIA

2011

Chiang Mai and Bogor: Forest Peoples Programme, Rights and Resources Initiative, and Asia Indigenous Peoples Network. With Marcus Colchester. Available online.

OIL PALM EXPANSION IN SOUTHEAST ASIA: TRENDS AND EXPERIENCES OF LOCAL COMMUNITIES AND INDIGENOUS PEOPLES

2011

Bogor: Forest Peoples Programme, Samdhana Institute, Rights and Resources Initiative, and The Centre for People and Forests. With Marcus Colchester. Available online.

ASSAULT ON THE COMMONS: DEFORESTATION AND DENIAL OF RIGHTS IN INDONESIA

2014

Moreton-in-Marsh: Forest Peoples Programme. With Marcus Colchester and Patrick Anderson. Available online.

‘A SWEETNESS LIKE UNTO DEATH’: VOICES OF THE INDIGENOUS MALIND OF MERAUKE, PAPUA

2013

Bogor: Forest Peoples Programme, Pusaka, and Sawit Watch. Available online.

FOREST PEOPLES: NUMBERS ACROSS THE WORLD

2012

Moreton-in-Marsh: Forest Peoples Programme. Available online.

FREE, PRIOR, AND INFORMED CONSENT AND THE RSPO: ARE THE COMPANIES KEEPING THEIR PROMISES?

2012

Moreton-in-Marsh: Forest Peoples Programme. Available online.

SECURING RIGHTS THROUGH COMMODITY ROUNDTABLES? A COMPARATIVE REVIEW

2012

Bogor: Forest Peoples Programme. With Marcus Colchester and Norman Jiwan. Available online.

HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES AND LAND CONFLICTS IN THE PT ASIATIC PERSADA CONCESSION IN JAMBI: REPORT OF AN INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION INTO LAND DISPUTES AND FORCED EVICTIONS IN A PALM OIL ESTATE.

2011

Bogor: Forest Peoples Programme, HuMa, and Sawit Watch. With Marcus Colchester, Patrick Anderson, Asep Yunan Firdaus, and Fatilda Hasibuan. Available online.

RESPECTING FREE, PRIOR AND INFORMED CONSENT: PRACTICAL GUIDANCE FOR GOVERNMENTS, COMPANIES, NGOS, INDIGENOUS PEOPLES AND LOCAL COMMUNITIES IN RELATION TO LAND ACQUISITION

2014

FAO Governance of Tenure Technical Guide No. 3. Rome: United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. With Marcus Colchester. Available online.

IN THE MEDIA

Below are selected essays, interviews, and podcasts I have published in national, international, print, and digital media outlets.

EP #60: THIS MONTH ON TFS

27 July 2020

A current affairs podcast on COVID-19, memory and fieldwork, and ontological difference, produced by the Australian National University's The Familiar Strange. With Alexander d’Aiola, Deanna Catto, and Simon Theobald.

HEALTH, HARM, HABITUS

7 July 2020

An essay on pandemic phenomenologies in COVID-19, published by critical theory and historical sociology journal Thesis Eleven as part of the online collection "Living and Thinking with Crisis."

THE CULTURAL DIMENSIONS OF FOOD INSECURITY IN PAPUA

14 July 2020

An essay on the cultural dimensions of food, hunger, and the environment among Marind in West Papua, published by investigative research organizationsThe Gecko Project and Mongabay.

WEST PAPUA AND BLACK LIVES MATTER

17 June 2020

An essay on Black Lives Matter and endemic racism in West Papua, published in the online magazine Inside Indonesia.

RACISM AND SYSTEMIC OPPRESSION

IN INDONESIA

9 June 2020

A short interview on the resonances of Black Lives Matter and structural racism in West Papua, published by the ethical Indonesian jewellery venture Gardens of the Sun.

WHY MULTISPECIES ETHNOGRAPHY MATTERS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

forthcoming

An essay on multispecies ethnography and human rights, published by the Australian human rights organization Right Now.

AMPHIBIOUS JUSTICE

22 June 2020

A blog on justice and amphibious living, published by the Sydney Environment Institute.

APPLIED ANTHROPOLOGY

forthcoming

A podcast on the values of applied anthropology beyond academia,  organized by the Australian Network of Student Anthropologists (ANSA) and produced by the Australian National University's podcast and blog series The Familiar Strange. With Sophie Chao, Jayne Curnow, Derek Elias, Marcus Barber, Bronwyn Hall, Leslie Pyne, and Hanna Jagtenberg.

THE PALM OIL FRONTIER

SOPHIE CHAO AND WALKING THE FOREST WITH THE MARIND PEOPLE

1 June 2020

A podcast on plants, ontology, and capitalism in West Papua, produced by the Australian National University's The Familiar Strange. With Alexander d'Aiola.

NATURE IN CULTURE

MULTI-SENSORY MAPPING WITH THE MARIND PEOPLE 

20 May 2020

A podcast on indigenous cartography in West Papua for the Re(e)mergence of Nature in Culture Podcast Series, hosted by the Sydney Environment Institute. With Christine Winter.

This podcast was reviewed by Christine Winter, Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Sydney Environment Institute and Convenor of The Re-(E)mergence of Nature in Culture Multimedia Series. Read Christine's reflection and check out her interview with morethanhumanworlds.com.

HOW COVID-19 MAKES US USE OUR BODIES DIFFERENTLY

11 May 2020

An essay on techniques of the body in COVID-19, published by the Australian National University's anthropology blog, The Familiar Strange.

TALES OF LOVE AND LOSS IN OCEANIA

25 April 2020

An interview with Kate Ryans on sago-human relations in West Papua, published in The Guardian

CULTURE, FOOD, AND ENVIRONMENT

19 March 2020

A podcast on the interconnections between processed food, hunger, and Indigenous sovereignty in West Papua, hosted by the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre. With Natali Pearson.

AGRIBUSINESS, ANTHROPOLOGY, AN ACTIVISM

19 March 2020

A podcast on conducting anthropological research in West Papua, transitioning from activist to academic, and the palm oil industry's impact on the Marind communities of West Papua, Indonesia, hosted by the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre. With Natali Pearson.

ANTHROPOLOGY AND ACTIVISM

20 January 2020

A podcast on anthropology and activism with Anthropod, the podcast of the Society for Cultural Anthropology that explores conceptual, methodological, and pedagogical issues across the discipline, while striving to make anthropology more widely accessible to all publics. With Cory-Alice André-Johnson and Bianca C. Williams.

A WORLD OF ASHES

9 January 2020

An opinion piece on living with ashes in the aftermath of forest fires in Australia, published by the Sydney Environment Institute.

ANSA INTERVIEW: DR. SOPHIE CHAO

January 2020

An interview on applied anthropology and the climate crisis published by the newsletter of the Australian Network of Student Anthropologists, Australia's largest anthropological student association.

FOOD, HUNGER, AND CULTURE

December 2019

A short essay on the relationship between food, hunger and culture in West Papua's plantation nexus, published in the University of Sydney's biannual SOPHI Magazine.

SOPHIE CHAO AWARDED AUSTRALIAN ANTHROPOLOGICAL SOCIETY PHD THESIS PRIZE 2019

12 December 2019

Dr. Chao was awarded the 2019 Australian Anthropological Society (AAS) PhD Thesis Prize for her dissertation, "In the Shadow of the Palms: Plant-Human Relations Among Marind-Anim, West Papua".

IN WEST PAPUA, OIL PALM EXPANSION UNDERMINES THE RELATIONS OF INDIGENOUS MARIND TO FOREST PLANTS AND ANIMALS

16 October 2019

An article on the morethanhuman impacts of deforestation and oil palm expansion in Merauke published in The Conversation, a not-for-profit media outlet that publishes news stories written by academics and researchers.

INSIGHTS ON WEST PAPUA

28 November 2019

A podcast hosted by the Australian National University's Pacific Institute, bringing together voices and scholarships to support and highlight the ongoing debates and struggles of West Papua. With Sophie Chao, Miranda Forsyth, Veronika Koman, Jacob Rumbiak, Reverend James Bhagwan, Hipolitus Y.R Wangge, and Chris Ballard.

WEST PAPUAN FOREST PEOPLES' SURVIVAL

9 December 2019

An interview about indigenous foodways and agribusiness expansion in West Papua on The Daily at Sydney-based community radio channel 2SER (107.3 FM).

HUNGER AND CULTURE  IN WEST PAPUA

31 October 2019

An article on indigenous experiences of food insecurity in West Papua, published by Inside Indonesia, a quarterly magazine on the people, culture, and politics of Indonesia.

BBC WORLD NEWSDAY PROGRAMME

30 August 2019

A guest interview on anti-racism protests in West Papua on BBC World's live Newsday Programme.

RITUALS GONE ROGUE IN WEST PAPUA

26 August 2019

Video recording of a guest seminar on ritual success and failure in West Papua, co-hosted by the University of Sydney's Sydney Southeast Asia Centre and Department of Indonesian Studies.

CULTIVATING CONSENT

26 August 2019

An article on free, prior, and informed consent in the West Papuan oil palm sector, published in New Mandala, a news outlet hosted by the Australian National University and providing scholarly analysis and perspectives on Southeast Asia.

RACE, RIGHTS, AND RESISTANCE

4 September 2019

An op-ed on the anti-racism protests in West Papua, published in Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT World), the national public broadcaster for Turkey.

CAN THERE BE JUSTICE HERE?

18 August 2019

Video recording of a presentation on social and environmental justice in the West Papuan oil palm sector, hosted by Sydney Environment Institute's Multispecies Justice FutureFix project.

 

BIOCAPITALISM AND AGRIBUSINESS IN RURAL INDONESIA

August 2019

A research feature published in the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre's 2018 - 2019 Yearbook.

ENGAGED ANTHROPOLOGY

8 August 2019

A blog on oil palm, human rights, and sustainability in West Papua, a project funded and published by the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. 

HUNGER IN THE RUBBLE OF THE FOREST

(游荡在印尼马老奇森林废墟里的饥饿感)

9 August 2019

An article on indigenous phenomenologies of hunger, published in Others (他者), a special section on indigenous cultures in the Chinese-language online magazine The Paper (澎湃).

FIVE MINUTES WITH DR. SOPHIE CHAO

5 August 2019

An interview for Sydney University's Staff News newsletter on anthropology, activism, and interdisciplinarity.

PALM OIL AND INDIGENOUS PEOPLES

11 July 2019

An interview with Talking Indonesia, a platform for analysis, research, and commentary on contemporary Indonesia among academics, students, and the general public. With Jemma Purdey.

1 of 10 most popular Talking Indonesia podcasts in 2019.

BIODIVERSITY AND EXTINCTION – CAN WE ACHIEVE JUSTICE FOR ALL?

19 June 2019

A talk on biodiversity, conservation, and agribusiness in West Papua with Sydney Ideas, the University of Sydney's premier public lecture series.

HOW LAND GRABBERS WEAPONIZE INDIGENOUS RITUAL AGAINST PAPUANS: AN INTERVIEW WITH ANTHROPOLOGIST SOPHIE CHAO

28 March 2019

A full-length interview with international environmental news platform Mongabay and environmental NGO The Gecko Project on contemporary land grabs and indigenous experiences of monocrop oil palm developments in West Papua.

SEI NEWS: Q+A WITH POSTDOC RESEARCH ASSOCIATE SOPHIE CHAO

11 April 2019

Q&A with the Sydney Environment Institute, one of the University of Sydney's MultiDisciplinary Initiatives.

VICE-CHANCELLOR'S COMMENDATION FOR SOPHIE CHAO

15 February 2019

Sophie Chao receives a Vice-Chancellor's Commendation for her doctoral thesis titled, “In Shadow of the Palms: Plant-Human Relations among Marind-Anim, West Papua.”

MALAYSIA: THE MURUT STRUGGLE AGAINST PALM OIL, FOR LAND AND LIFE

12 December 2016

An investigative research-based article on oil palm and land grabbing in Malaysia, published in The Ecologist.

LOCAL COMMUNITIES KEY TO SAVING FORESTS

7 April 2014

An article on deforestation and indigenous peoples' rights, published in The Jakarta Post, Indonesia's top English-language daily newspaper.

LES PEUPLES DES FORÊTS RÉCLAMENT LEURS DROITS

22 March 2014

An interview on forest peoples' land rights with francophone news outlet La Voix de l’Amérique (Voice of America).

FOREST PEOPLES' LANDMARK APPEAL TO CURB DEFORESTATION

21 March 2014

An article on deforestation and indigenous peoples' rights, published in the United Nations University news and analysis outlet, Our World 2.0.

SECURING HUMAN RIGHTS THROUGH PRIVATE SECTOR STANDARDS? A COMPARATIVE REVIEW

8 February 2013

An article on human rights in corporate sector standards, published in Our World 2.0.

BALI DECLARATION CALLS FOR PALM OIL JUSTICE

9 March 2012

An article on the Bali Declaration on Human Rights and Agribusiness, published in Our World 2.0.

SEEING THE PEOPLE FOR THE TREES

8 June 2012

An article on forest peoples and indigenous land rights, published in Our World 2.0.

1.3 BILLION PEOPLE DEPEND ON FORESTS TO SURVIVE

26 May 2012

An interview on indigenous peoples rights and deforestation with New Scientist, a weekly, English-language magazine that covers all aspects of science and technology.

HAR INVESTERT MILLIARDER I OMSTRIDT SELSKAP

3 April 2012

An interview on indigenous peoples rights and agribusiness expansion by the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation.

 

STUDYING ANTHROPOLOGY AT OXFORD

12 July 2010

A two-part podcast on studying anthropology at the University of Oxford, hosted by the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology. With Jennie Rothera, Darryl Stellmach, Santhy Balachandran, and Mette Berg.

 

GUEST TALKS

Below is a selection of guest talks I've given as a doctoral and postdoctoral researcher.

For conference papers, please see my CV.

6 July 2020

GETTING SH*T DONE - WITH SOPHIE CHAO

Macquarie University HDR Research Seminar. Available online.

17 June 2020

THERE ARE NO STRAIGHT LINES IN NATURE: MAPS AS CULTURAL RESOURCES AND ADVOCACY TOOLS IN WEST PAPUA

Territorial Agency: Oceans in Transformation. TBA-21 Academy. Available online.

18 February 2020

INVASIVES OR ALLIES? THE MULTISPECIES BIOPOLITICS OF OIL PALM ECOLOGIES IN WEST PAPUA, INDONESIA

When Species Travel: On the Rise and Consequence of Invasive Ecologies in Asia and the West Pacific. Asia Research Institute and Yale – NUS College. Singapore.

28 January 2020

PLANTS AS KIN, PLANT AS FOE: SAGO AND OIL PALM ONTOLOGIES IN WEST PAPUA

Oriental Society of Australia Lunchtime Seminar Series. Sydney.

2 December 2019

APPLIED ANTHROPOLOGY ROUNDTABLE

Australian Network of Student Anthropologists. Australian Anthropological Society Conference. Canberra.

28 November 2019

DEVELOPMENT, DEFORESTATION, DISPOSSESSION: INDIGENOUS EXPERIENCES IN MERAUKE, WEST PAPUA

Insights on West Papua. Pacific Institute, Australian National University. Canberra. Available online.

19 June 2019

MORE-THAN-HUMAN ENVIRONMENTAL SUBJECTIVITIES IN THE WEST PAPUAN PLANTATIONOCENE

Tomorrow's Country: Environmentality After "Recognition." Alfred Deakin Institute. Melbourne.

13 September 2019

THE PLASTIC CASSOWARY: PROBLEMATIC "PETS" IN WEST PAPUA

Department of Gender and Cultural Studies Seminar Series. University of Sydney. 

26 August 2019

WRATHFUL ANCESTORS, CORPORATE SORCERERS: RITUALS GONE ROGUE IN MERAUKE, WEST PAPUA

Sydney Southeast Asia Centre Guest Seminar. University of Sydney. Watch online.

22 August 2019

MAPS THAT WON'T SIT STILL: CARTOGRAPHIC CONUNDRUMS IN A PAPUAN VILLAGE

Anthropology Seminar Series. Department of Anthropology. University of Sydney.

7 August 2019

PRESSURE POINTS: TOPOGRAPHIES OF VIOLENCE IN MERAUKE, WEST PAPUA

Thinking Space Seminar Series. School of Geosciences. University of Sydney.

6 August 2019

CHILDREN OF THE PALMS: GROWING PLANTS AND GROWING PEOPLE IN WEST PAPUA

Pacific Studies Network Seminar Series. The University of Sydney and Macquarie University.

12 July 2019

MAPPING MORE-THAN-HUMAN WORLDS IN AN AGE OF EXTINCTION: INDIGENOUS CARTOGRAPHY IN WEST PAPUA

The Re-(E)mergence of Nature and Culture II. Sydney Environment Institute. The University of Sydney.

8 July 2019

CULTURE IN CONVERSATION: CREATING INCLUSIVE FOOD COMMUNITIES

Sydney Environment Institute, FoodLab Sydney, YARN Australia, and the University of Sydney Union. The University of Sydney. Read online.

19 June 2019

BIODIVERSITY AND EXTINCTION: INDIGENOUS PERSPECTIVES ON MULTISPECIES JUSTICE IN WEST PAPUA

Biodiversity and Extinction – Can we Achieve Justice for All? Sydney Ideas. The University of Sydney. Listen online.

13 June 2019

ECONOMIES AFTER PLANTATIONOCENE CAPITALISM: LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE PALM OIL SECTOR

Economies after Anthropocene Roundtable. Multispecies Justice Symposium. The University of Sydney.

4 June 2019

FOOD, CULTURE, HUNGER: TOWARDS A FIELD IN ETHNONUTRITION?

Charles Perkins Centre Breakfast Seminar Series. The University of Sydney.

31 May 2019

STRANGE FLESH, STRANGE FLUIDS: TRANSFORMING BODIES AND SELVES IN A WEST PAPUAN AGRO-INDUSTRIAL ZONE

Meeting the Human Halfway Symposium. Biopolitics of Science Research Network. The University of Sydney.

23 April 2019

KEAMANAN PANGAN DAN BUDAYA SAGU DI MERAUKE, PAPUA: PENILAIAN METODOLOGI DAN TEORI ANTHROPOLOGIS

Dialog Selasa Siang. Department of Indonesian Studies. The University of Sydney.

17 April 2019

EATING AND BEING EATEN: GASTRO-POLITICS IN A WEST PAPUAN VILLAGE

Department of History Seminar Series. The University of Sydney.

13 March 2019

HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE PALM OIL SECTOR

The Stakes of Sovereignty: Energy on the Battlefield. Institut des Hautes Études pour la Science et la Technologie, Paris.

12 October 2017

THE PLASTIC CASSOWARY: PROBLEMATIC PETS IN WEST PAPUA

Macquarie University Anthropology Colloquium. Sydney.

28 April 2015

GASTRO-POLITICS IN A MARIND VILLAGE, WEST PAPUA

Pacific Research Cluster Talanoa. Macquarie University. Sydney.

GRANTS, AWARDS, AND SCHOLARSHIPS

My research has been supported by a number of academic, national, and international funding bodies, including the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, the Australian Ministry of Education and Training, the University of Sydney, and Macquarie University.

 

PhD Thesis Prize 2019, 1,000 AUD, Australian Anthropological Society

Discovery Project Grant, 173,000 AUD, Australian Research Council, 2020 - 2022

 

Post-PhD Research Grant, 19,760 USD, Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, 2019

Sydney Southeast Asia Center Conference Fund2,000 AUD, University of Sydney, 2019

Faculty Research Support Scheme5,000 AUD, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Sydney, 2019 - 2020 

Vice-Chancellor's Commendation for PhD ThesisMacquarie University, 2019

Engaged Anthropology Grant5,000 USD, Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, 2018

Endeavour International Postgraduate Scholarship (PhD)Australian Ministry of Education and Training, 2015 - 2018 

Tuition Gap International Research Excellence ScholarshipMacquarie University, 2015 - 2018

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant, 9,196 USD, Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, 2015

Fieldwork Research Grant, 10,000 AUD, Macquarie University, 2015

International Macquarie Research Excellence Scholarship (IMQRES), Macquarie University, 2015 (declined)

College Prize for First in the Final Honor School Examinations, St Anne’s College, University of Oxford, 2009

Dudbridge Prize for Outstanding Performance in Moderations, Chinese Institute, University of Oxford, 2007

College Prize for a Distinction in the First Public Exam (FPE), St Anne’s College, University of Oxford, 2007

College Scholarship, St Anne’s College, University of Oxford, 2007 (renewed in 2008 and 2009)

College Exhibition for a Distinction in Exams, St Anne’s College, University of Oxford, 2006

College half prize for a Distinction in the Qualifying Exam, St Anne’s College, University of Oxford, 2006

ECOLOGICAL ANTHROPOLOGY

February - June 2016, 2018

MEDICAL ANTHROPOLOGY

July - November 2018

This undergraduate course explores anthropological approaches to nature and society, with a particular focus on the Anthropocene. It introduces students to the entanglements of humans and non-humans in contexts including mass species extinction, capitalist extractivism, indigenous cosmologies, and biodiversity conservation.

This undergraduate course explores the anthropology of health, illness, and healing. It introduces students to central concepts, methods, and theories of medical anthropology, including evolutionary biology, Western biomedicine and traditional therapeutic systems, the illness experience, and the social, psychological, and biological origins of disease.

PSYCHOLOGICAL ANTHROPOLOGY

July - November 2017

This undergraduate course explores psychological anthropology, including emotional, cognitive, developmental, and perceptual dynamics across cultures. It introduces students to the conceptual roots of psychological anthropology and to contemporary anthropological debates about the relationship between self, psyche, and culture.

RESEARCH PARADIGMS

February - June 2017, 2019

This postgraduate course explores research paradigms in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. It introduces students to a range of theoretical frameworks, the assumptions that underwrite these diverse approaches, their inter-disciplinary relevance, their strengths, and their conceptual relationships.

INTRODUCTION: ANTHROPOLOGY

July - November 2018

This undergraduate course introduces students to methods and principles of sociocultural anthropology through topics including exchange and reciprocity; language and culture; kinship; magic, ritual, and witchcraft; race, ethnicity and inequality; the body and culture; globalization; and sex and gender.

TEACHING

Since 2015, I have tutored, lectured, and convened undergraduate and postgraduate courses in anthropology and the social sciences more generally at Macquarie University. I continue to give guest lectures as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Sydney. My teaching philosophy is anchored in a strong work ethic, the pursuit of excellence, and respect for intellectual diversity. My goal as a teacher is to support my students lead lives of impacts as engaged citizens and creative thinkers. For further details, please see my Teaching Dossier.

TEACHING

Since 2015, I have tutored, lectured, and convened undergraduate and postgraduate courses in anthropology and the social sciences more generally at Macquarie University. I continue to give guest lectures as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Sydney. My teaching philosophy is anchored in a strong work ethic, the pursuit of excellence, and respect for intellectual diversity. My goal as a teacher is to support my students lead lives of impacts as engaged citizens and creative thinkers. For further details, please see my Teaching Portfolio.

 

Secretary, Executive Committee, Australian Anthropological Society (2019 - present)

Co-convener and Administrator, Australian Food, Society, and Culture Network (2019 - present)

Co-organizer, Biopolitics of Science Research Network (2020 - present)

Co-secretary, Charles Perkins Centre Early and Mid Career Researchers Network (2019 - 2020)

Honorary Postdoctoral Fellow, Macquarie University (2019 – 2021)

Full Member, Royal Society of New South Wales (RSNSW)

Member, Society for Social Studies of Science (4S)

Member, Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA)

Fellow, Australian Anthropological Society (AAS)

Member, Australian Association for Pacific Studies (AAPS)
Member, Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA)
Member, World Public Health Nutrition Association (WPHNA)

Member, The Pacific Circle
Member, AgriFood Research Network (AFRN)
Member, Food Studies Research Network (FSRN)
Member, Agriculture, Nutrition and Health Academy (ANHA)
Member, Charles Perkins Centre (CPC)
Researcher, Sydney Environment Institute (SEI)
Academic Member, Sydney Southeast Asia Center (SSEAC)
Academic Member, Chinese Studies Center, The University of Sydney
Member, Sydney Food and Nutrition Network (SFNN)
Member, Sydney Social Sciences and Humanities Advanced Research Centre (SSSHARC)
Member, Mosaic Network, The University of Sydney
Member, Human Animal Research Network (HARN)

Member, UNESCO Inclusive Policy Lab

Advisory Board Member, Cultural and Medical Anthropology Division, Adventurous Midwives

Cultural Horizons Prize Jury Member, American Anthropological Association, 2015

 

MEMBERSHIPS