I acknowledge the custodians of the lands I work and live on,
the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation and the Darramuragal people of the Darug nation.
I offer my respects to their elders past, present, and emergent, and to their kin - human, vegetal, animal, and elemental.
The lands of Gadigal and Darramuragal were taken without consent, treaty, or compensation.
They are lands whose stories have historically been stolen, silenced, and sanitized.
They are lands of ongoing Indigenous survivance, continuance, and resurgence.
in the media
A selection of essays, interviews, and podcasts in national, international, print, and digital media outlets. For further details, see my cv.
PACIFIC ISLANDERS EMBRACE THEIR CULTURAL PAST TO BETTER THEIR CLIMATE FUTURE
31 May 2022
Author, podcaster, and environmental activist Kamea Chayne engages with In the Shadow of the Palms: More-Than-Human Becomings in West Papua (Duke University Press, 2022) in an essay published in environmental news magazine Grist.
SPACEX HYPER LOOMS UNEASILY OVER INDONESIAN ISLAND
2 March 2022
A radio interview on the SpaceX project in Biak, West Papua, featured on The World. With Patrick Winn.
BRINGING A DEAD MAP TO LIFE
17 May 2022
An extract from In the Shadow of the Palms: More-Than-Human Becomings in West Papua (Duke University Press, 2022), published in SAPIENS.
IN THE SHADOW OF THE PALMS
An extract from In the Shadow of the Palms: More-Than-Human Becomings in West Papua (Duke University Press, 2022), published in The Monthly.
THE SKY HAS NO CORNERS
6 April 2022
An essay on more-than-human kincentrism in West Papua, featured in 5 Media.
10 January 2022
A review of Tanya Murray Li and Pujo Semedi's Plantation Life: Corporate Occupation in Indonesia's Oil Palm Zone, published in Inside Indonesia.
REFLECTION - ON SUBJECTS OF INTERGENERATIONAL JUSTICE
15 December 2021
A reflection on Dr Christine Winter’s new book, Subjects of Intergenerational Justice (Routledge 2021), published by the Sydney Environment Institute.
To read an interview with Christine, click here.
THE PROMISE OF PARASITES
20 October 2021
An essay on parasitic species and multispecies resistance in oil palm ecologies, published by the Wenner-Gren Foundation magazine, SAPIENS.
SPACECRAFTS AND SOVEREIGNTY
17 May 2021
An op-ed on spacecrafts and sovereignty in West Papua, published in The Conversation. Also available in Indonesian.
MORE-THAN-HUMAN: AN INTERVIEW ON NATURE, CULTURE, AND INDIGENOUS KNOLWEDGE
25 Feb 2021
An interview on plant-human relations in West Papua, published by Kunsthistorisches Institute in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut. With Sanja Savkic.
Watch the original guest talk here
CORPORATE "SORCERERS" REVEAL THE MAGICAL POWER OF CAPITALISM
22 January 2020
An essay on corporate magic in West Papua, published in SAPIENS. Voted Editors’ Top 10 of 2020.
WHEN CRISIS BRINGS US CLOSER
31 March 2020
An essay on family, fieldwork, and faraway homes in COVID-19, published in Somatosphere. (republished in A Journal of the Plague Year: An Archive of COVID-19).
FROM PHD TO BOOK
EXPERIENCES IN THE PUBLISHING INDUSTRY
24 November 2020
A webinar on turning a thesis into a book, hosted by the Asian Studies Association of Australia. With Nathan Hollier (University of Melbourne Press), Kevin Carrico (Monash University), and Benjamin Hegarty (Melbourne University).
THE IMPACTS OF TREE PLANTATIONS ON WOMEN AND WOMEN-LED RESISTANCE TO MONOCULTURES
21 September 2020
A webinar marking the International Day of Struggle Against Monoculture Tree Plantations, hosted by the Global Forest Coalition.
Read the report here
INTERDISCIPLINARITY IN A MORE-THAN-HUMAN WORLD
6 - 7 August 2020
A two-day workshop on putting interdisciplinary research into practice, hosted by the Sydney Environment Institute and co-organized by Danielle Celermajer and Sophie Chao. This workshop was reviewed by Zsuzsanna Ihar and Hayley Singer.
SOPHIE CHAO AWARDED JOHN LEGGE PRIZE FOR BEST THESIS IN ASIAN STUDIES 2019
24 July 2020
The John Legge Prize for Best Thesis in Asian Studies is awarded annually by the Asian Studies Association of Australia. This year's Judging Panel was composed of Antonia Finnane (Melbourne), Garry Rodan (Murdoch), and Kirin Narayan (ANU).
EP #60. ADAPTING METHODS, HUMAN DIFFERENCE, VIRTUAL DOJOS, AND FOGGY FIELDNOTES
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.
7 September 2020
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.
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.
AGRIBUSINESS, ANTHROPOLOGY, 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.
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.
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.
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.
THE TRUTH ABOUT "SUSTAINABLE" PALM OIL
13 June 2019
An essay on the promise and perils of sustainable palm oil, published in SAPIENS. Voted Editors’ Top 10 of 2019.
PROBLEMATIC PETS IN WEST PAPUA
20 September 2016
An essay on forest orphans and their ambiguous meanings in West Papua, published in SAPIENS. Voted Editors’ Top 5 in 2016.