SOPHIE CHAO

environmental anthropologist & 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. My research explores the intersections of capitalism, ecology, Indigeneity, health, and justice in the Pacific. In particular, I'm interested in changing human-environment relations across Indigenous, corporate, and scientific contexts. My theoretical thinking is inspired by interdisciplinary currents including multispecies ethnography and the environmental humanities, as well as Indigenous Studies, Critical Race Studies, 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.

 

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, Co-Convenor of the Australian Food, Society, and Culture Network, Co-Convener of the Biopolitics of Science Research Network, and Co-Convenor of the Multispecies Justice HDR/ECR Collective.

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. For more, check out the morethanhuman matters interview series, or subscribe to the morethanhumanworlds mailing list.

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.

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

Click the trailers below to find out more about my research and publications.

 

For a complete list of academic and non-academic works, please see my CV.