in the media
A selection of essays, interviews, and podcasts published in national, international, print, and digital media outlets.
WORLDS OF GRAY AND GREEN
18 August 2022
a podcast with Sebastián Ureta, co-author with Patricio Flores of Worlds of Gray and Green, in conversation with Thom van Dooren, Susan Park, and Sophie Chao, and hosted by the Sydney Environment Institute.
CELEBRATING BIOCULTURAL DIVERSITY ON WORLD INDIGENOUS PEOPLES DAY
9 August 2022
A blog piece on Indigenous Peoples and biocultural diversity, published by Duke University Press on International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples.
IN HER OWN WORDS
9 August 2022
A photo-essay and interview on Indigenous philosophies of more-than-human coexistence and the threat of industrial oil palm expansion, featured in Palm Oil Detectives.
THE ENTANGLEMENTS OF OIL PALM PLANTATIONS
2 August 2022
An interview on In the Shadow of the Palms with Christine Winter, featured in the Sydney Environment Institute blog.
ODE TO THE GILBERT'S POTOROO
20 July 2022
A poem on the endangered Gilbert's Potoroo, republished in Bushfire Stories from Plumwood Mountain: An Australian and International Journal of Ecopoetry and Ecopoetics.
14 June 2022
A podcast on industrial oil palm developments and Indigenous worldviews in West Papua, featured on the environmental podcast series Green Dreamer. With Kamea Chayne.
FOREST FOODWAYS IN WEST PAPUA
An essay on forest foodways in Indigenous West Papua, published in art journal e-flux.
WRITING NATURE IN THE ACTIVE VOICE
8 July 2022
An experiment and reflection on ecophilosopher Val Plumwood's invitation to write nature in the active voice, published in Environmental History Now.
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.
MANGIATI DALLA PALMA
29 April 2022
A translated excerpt from In the Shadow of the Palms: More-Than-Human Becomings in West Papua (Duke University Press, 2022), featured in the Italian news outlet Internazionale.
DE JAVA A BORNEO, DES PEUPLES AUTOCHTONES PEINENT A SE FAIRE ENTENDRE
An interview on the Indonesian capital move project and its potential impacts on Indigenous Dayak Peoples, featured in Canadian magainze L'Apostrophe.
IN THE SHADOW OF THE PALMS
29 March 2022
A podcast on In the Shadow of the Palms: More-Than-Human Becomings in West Papua (Duke University Press, 2022), featured in New Books Network. With Alex Golub.
GASTROCOLONIALISM AND RESISTANCE
13 March 2022
A podcast on Indigenous foodways, resistance, and culture in Southeast Asia, featured in Poor Prole's Almanac.
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.
SUBJECTS OF INTERGENERATIONAL JUSTICE
7 December 2021
A podcast on Indigenous philosophies and intergenerational environmental justice, hosted by the Sydney Environment Institute. With Christine Winter, David Schlosberg, and Joni Adamson.
PALATE POLITICS IN AN (UN)PURE WORLD
29 April 2022
An essay on the ethical, environmental, and economic stakes of kangatarianism, published in Edge Effects.
INDONESIA'S NEW FOREST CAPITAL HEIGHTENS FEARS FOR ORANGUTANS' FUTURE
21 February 2022
An interview with CNN on the potential environmental and social impacts of Indonesia's capital relocation. By Tamara Thiessen.
SHOULD INDONESIA RELOCATE ITS CAPITAL?
21 January 2022
Sydney experts comment on Indonesia's rapid-fire plan to move its capital from Jakarta to East Kalimantan, Borneo by 2024. Published in University of Sydney News & Opinion.
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.
IS IT NORMAL TO TALK TO PLANTS?
29 November 2021
A video podcast on plants, people, and rethinking "normality," produced by Traces.Dreams within the Idioms of Normality podcast series. In conversation with Paul Mason.
FOOD MATTERS INTERVIEW
18 November 2021
An interview on food, diet, and culture in West Papua, published by Carleton University and the Food Matters Conference. With Grace Ingraham.
ROAD DEVELOPMENT AND THREATS TO BIODIVERSITY IN NEW GUINEA
15 October 2021
An interview with Science on road developments and biodiversity loss in West Papua. By Dyna Rochmyaningsih.
WRITING THE ENVIRONMENT
6 October 2021
A reflection on encounters, transformation, and perspectives in multispecies storytelling, co-authored with Hannah Della Bosca and James Dunk, and published by the Sydney Environment Institute.
PAPUA, FOOD, AND RACISM
30 September 2021
A podcast on Papua, food, race, and political symbols, produced by the University of Melbourne's Talking Indonesia podcast series. With Annisa Beta.
LIVING WITH ASHES
26 July 2021
An essay on forest lives, deaths, and afterlives, published in the Society for Cultural Anthropology's Hotspots series, "Firestorm: Critical Approaches to Forest Death and Life."
1 July 2021
An essay on social, environmental, and multispecies justice in West Papua, published by Struggles for Sovereignty.
SYDNEY ANTHROPOLOGIST WINS SCHOLARS OF COLOR FIRST BOOK PRIZE
28 June 2021
A news piece on my forthcoming book, recipient of the Duke University Press Scholars of Color First Book Prize. Published by the University of Sydney.
PROPOSED BASED FOR ELON MUSK'S SPACEX PROJECT THREATENS LANDS AND LIVELIHOODS IN BIAK, PAPUA
15 May 2021
An op-ed on the potential impacts of the SpaceX project in Biak, West Papua, published by TRT World.
THE INDONESIAN ISLAND THAT COULD HOST ELON MUSK'S NEW SPACEX SITE
23 Apr 2021
An interview with BBC News on Biak, human rights, and space exploration in West Papua. By Yvette Tan and Ayomi Amindoni.
27 Jan 2021
A reflection on storying crisis, loss, and co-existence, inspired by the Sydney Festival Requiem panel, "An Endangered Menagerie," and published by the Sydney Environment Institute.
ASIAN CURRENTS INTERVIEW
15 Jan 2021
An interview on the 2020 John Legge Prize-winning thesis, "In the Shadow of the Palms: Plant-Human Relations among the Marind-Anim, West Papua" published by the Asian Studies Association of Australia's Asian Currents.
A CANCER AT THE HEART OF THE UN
30 Dec 2020
On op-ed on the West Papua conflict, published by Southeast Asia Globe. Interviewed by Klas Lundstrom.
RACIAL JUSTICE AND INDEPENDENCE IN WEST PAPUA
15 Dec 2020
On op-ed on racial justice and independence in West Papua, published by TIME magazine. Interviewed by Amy Gunia.
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).
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A LANGUAGE DIES
19 Nov 2020
A review of anthropologist Don Kulick's A Death in the Rainforest, published by SAPIENS, the magazine of the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research.
EP #62. JOB FANTASIES, WORKING WITH OTHERS, EXTRACTIVE CALLS, AND RECIPROCITY REVISITED
24 Aug 2020
A current affairs podcast produced by the Australian National University's The Familiar Strange. With Alexander d’Aiola, Deanna Catto, and Michael Dunford.
AFTER 75 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE, INDIGENOUS PEOPLES IN INDONESIA STILL STRUGGLING FOR EQUALITY
14 August 2020
An essay on the rights and realities of Indigenous peoples in Indonesia, published by The Conversation as part of a series to commemorate Indonesia Day. With Fidelis Sastriastanti.
INTERDISCIPLINARITY IN A MORE-THAN-HUMAN WORLD
6 - 7 August 2020
KELAPA SAWIT MEMBUNUH SAGU
30 July 2020
An interview on the John Legge Prize for Best Thesis in Asian Studies and my research in West Papua, published by ABC News Indonesia. By Farid M. Ibrahim.
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.
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
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.
MULTISPECIES STORIES: WHY DO THEY MATTER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS?
29 July 2020
An essay on multispecies ethnography and human rights, published by the Australian human rights organization Right Now.
22 June 2020
A blog on justice and amphibious living, published by the Sydney Environment Institute.
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.
THE PALM OIL FRONTIER
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, 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.
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.
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.
FOOD, HUNGER, AND CULTURE
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.
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
A research feature published in the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre's 2018 - 2019 Yearbook.
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
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.
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 the right to land, 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.