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.

Peer Reviewed Manuscripts

Chao, Sophie. In the Shadow of the Palms: More-Than-Human Becomings in West Papua. Duke University Press. Forthcoming 27 May 2022.

Chao, Sophie. Eating and Being Eaten: The Meanings of Hunger in a West Papuan Village. In preparation.

Peer Reviewed Edited Volumes

Chao, Sophie, Eben Kirksey, and Karin Bolender, eds. The Promise of Multispecies Justice. Under contract with Duke University Press, announced for Fall 2022 collection.


Peer Reviewed Articles

Chao, Sophie, and Danielle Celermajer. “Multispecies Justice: Introduction.” Under review with Cultural Politics.

Chao, Sophie. "Multispecies Mourning: Grieving as Resistance on the West Papuan Oil Palm Frontier.” Under review with Cultural Studies.

Chao, Sophie. "Plantation.” Environmental Humanities. Forthcoming.

Chao, Sophie. “Gastrocolonialism: The Intersections of Race, Food, and Development in West Papua.” Accepted pending minor revisions by The International Journal of Human Rights (Special Issue: Racism and Human Rights in West Papua).  

Chao, Sophie, and Dion Enari. 2021. “Decolonizing Climate Change: A Call for Knowledge Generation Beyond Human Imaginaries.” eTropic: electronic journal of studies in the tropics (Special Issue: Tropical Imaginaries & Climate Crisis). Forthcoming.

Chao, Sophie. “Can There Be Justice Here? Indigenous Experiences in the West Papuan Plantationocene.” Borderlands. Forthcoming.

Chao, Sophie. 2021, “We Are (Not) Monkeys: Contested Cosmopolitical Symbols in West Papua.” American Ethnologist. Forthcoming.

Chao, Sophie. 2021. “The Beetle or the Bug? Multispecies Politics in a West Papuan Oil Palm Plantation.” American Anthropologist.

Chao, Sophie. 2021. “Eating and Being Eaten: The Meanings of Hunger among Marind.” Forthcoming in Medical Anthropology: Cross-Cultural Studies in Health and Illness. DOI:10.1080/01459740.2021.1916013.

Chao, Sophie. 2021. “Children of the Palms: Growing Plants and Growing People in a Papuan Plantationocene.” Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute. 27(2): 245 - 264. DOI:10.1111/1467-9655.13489.

Chao, Sophie. 2020. “A Tree of Many Lives: Vegetal Teleontologies in West Papua.” HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory. 10(2): 514 – 529. DOI:10.1086/709505.

Chao, Sophie. 2020. “Introducing Oceanic Societies in COVID-19.” Oceania. With Ute Eickelkamp. 90(S1): 1 – 3. DOI:10.1002/ocea.5257.

Chao, Sophie. 2019. “Wrathful Ancestors, Corporate Sorcerers: Rituals Gone Rogue in Merauke, West Papua.” Oceania. 89(3): 266 – 283. DOI:10.1002/ocea.5229.

Chao, Sophie. 2019. “The Plastic Cassowary: Problematic “Pets” in West Papua.” Ethnos. 84 (5): 828 – 848. DOI:10.1080/00141844.2018.1502798.

Chao, Sophie. 2018. “In the Shadow of the Palm: Dispersed Ontologies among Marind, West Papua.” Cultural Anthropology. 33(4): 621 – 649. DOI:10.14506/ca33.4.08.

Chao, Sophie. 2018. “Seed Care in the Oil Palm Sector.” Environmental Humanities. 10(2): 421 – 446. DOI:10.1215/22011919-7156816.

Chao, Sophie. 2017. “There Are No Straight Lines in Nature”: Making Living Maps in West Papua.” Anthropology Now. 9(1): 16 – 33. DOI:10.1080/19428200.2017.1291014.

Peer Reviewed Book Chapters

Chao, Sophie. “Multispecies Mourning: Grieving as Refusal and Resistance on the West Papuan Oil Palm Frontier.” In Perez, Craig Santos, and Rebecca Hogue (eds). Environmental Humanities in Oceania and the Pacific Islands Anthology. Harvard University Press. In preparation.
Chao, Sophie. “The Multispecies World of Oil Palm: Indigenous Marind Perspectives on Plantation Ecologies in West Papua.” In Macedo, Marta, Irene Peano, and Colette Le Petitcorps (eds). Plantations and their Afterlives. Cambridge Imperial and Postcolonial Studies Series, Palgrave Macmillan. Submitted.

Kirksey, Eben, and Sophie Chao. “Introduction: The Promise of Multispecies Justice.” In Chao, Sophie, Karin Bolender, and Eben Kirksey (eds). The Promise of Multispecies Justice. With Eben Kirksey. Under contract with Duke University Press.

Chao, Sophie. 2021. “Sago: A Storied Species of West Papua.” In Vieira, Patricia, Monica Gagliano, and John C. Ryan (eds). The Mind of Plants: Narratives on Vegetal Intelligence. Santa FE, N.M.: Synergetic Press. Pp. 317 - 325.

Chao, Sophie. 2021. “Living in the Plantationocene: Insights from West Papua.” In Pountney, Laura, and Tomislav Maric (eds). Introducing Anthropology: What Makes Us Human?  Cambridge, M.A.: Polity Press. Second edition. Pp. 176 – 177.

Chao, Sophie. 2021. “Why Multispecies Ethnography Matters for Human Rights and the Climate.” In Earth Cries: A Climate Change Anthology. Sydney: Sydney University Press. Pp. 97 - 102.


Peer Reviewed Special Issues

Chao, Sophie, and Danielle Celermajer (eds). “Multispecies Justice.” Cultural Politics. Under review.

Eickelkamp Ute, and Sophie Chao (eds). 2020. “Oceanic Societies in COVID-19.” Oceania. Volume 90(S1): 1 – 140.


Book Reviews

Chao, Sophie. 2021. "Gardens of Gold: Place-Making in Papua New Guinea, by Jamon Halvaksz." Oceania. Forthcoming.

Chao, Sophie. 2021. “Engaged Anthropology: Politics Beyond the Text, by Stuart Kirsch.” Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute. Forthcoming.

Chao, Sophie. 2020. “Matters of Care: Speculative Ethics in More Than Human Worlds, by María Puig de la Bellacasa (Minnesota University Press, 2017).” Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience. 6(2): 1 – 5. DOI:10.28968/cftt.v6i2.34034.

Chao, Sophie. 2020. “The Road: Uprising in West Papua [Book Review].” Australian Foreign Affairs. 10: 103 – 106.

Chao, Sophie. 2019. “Palma Africana, by Michael Taussig.” American Anthropologist. 121(3): 784 – 785. DOI:10.1111/aman.13280.

Chao, Sophie. 2016. “Elusive Caimans and the Anthropologist as Devil.” Anthropology Now. 8(1): 132 – 138. DOI:10.1080/19428200.2016.1154775.


Edited Volumes

Colchester, Marcus, and Sophie Chao, eds. 2013. Conflict or Consent? The Palm Oil Sector at a Crossroads. Bogor: Forest Peoples Programme and SawitWatch. Available online.

Chao, Sophie. 2013. Agribusiness Large-Scale Land Acquisitions and Human Rights in Southeast Asia: Updates from Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Cambodia, Timor-Leste, and Burma. Bogor: Forest Peoples Programme. Available online.

Chao, Sophie, and Marcus Colchester, eds. 2012. Human Rights and Agribusiness: Plural Legal Approaches to Conflict Resolution, Institutional Strengthening and Legal Reform. Bogor: Forest Peoples Programme and SawitWatch. With Marcus Colchester. Available online.

Colchester, Marcus, and Sophie Chao, eds. 2011. Divers Paths to Justice: Legal Pluralism and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Southeast Asia. Bogor: Forest Peoples Programme and Asia Indigenous Peoples Network. With Marcus Colchester. Available online.

Colchester, Marcus, and Sophie Chao, eds. 2011. Oil Palm Expansion in Southeast Asia: Trends and Experiences of Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples. Bogor: Forest Peoples Programme, Samdhana Institute, and Centre for People and Forests. With Marcus Colchester. Available online.


Academic Essays

Chao, Sophie. 2021. “Living with Ashes.” Hotspots, Fieldsights. 26 July 2021. Available online.  

Chao, Sophie. 2021.“Pluralizing Justice: Indigenous Perspectives from the West Papuan Oil Palm Frontier.” Struggles for Sovereignty: Land, Water, Farming, Food. Available online.
Chao, Sophie. 2021. "Ode to the Gilbert's Potoroo." Plumwood Mountain: An Australian Journal of Ecopoetry and Ecopoetics. Special issue: An Endangered Menagerie. Available online.

Chao, Sophie. 2021. “Wetness.” Art + Australia. 8(57.1): 94 – 97.

Chao, Sophie. 2021. Storying Extinction: A Reflection on Loss, Crisis, and Co-existence. Sydney Environment Institute. 27 January. Available online.

Chao, Sophie. 2021. “They Grow and Die Lonely and Sad.” Society for Cultural Anthropology, Theorizing the Contemporary. 26 January. Available online.

Chao, Sophie. 2020. “What’s Left Unsaid When a Language Dies.” Review of A Death in the Rainforest, by Don Kulick, 2019. SAPIENS. 19 November. Available online.

Chao, Sophie. 2020. “Health, Harm, and Habitus: Revisiting the Techniques of the Body in COVID-19.” Thesis Eleven. Living and Thinking Crisis. 7 July. Available online.

Chao, Sophie. 2020. “West Papua and Black Lives Matter.” Inside Indonesia 140, Apr – Jun. Available online. (with response from Made Supriatma, Suara Papua, 3 July 2020).

Chao, Sophie. 2020. “When Crisis Brings Us Closer: Reflections on Family, Fieldwork, and Faraway Homes in the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Somatosphere. 31 March. Available online. (republished in A Journal of the Plague Year: An Archive of COVID-19).

Chao, Sophie. 2020. “Corporate “Sorcerers” Reveal the Magical Power of Capitalism.” SAPIENS. 22 January. Available online. (voted Editors’ Top 10 in 2020)

Chao, Sophie. 2020. A World of Ashes. Sydney Environment Institute. 9 January. Available online.

Chao, Sophie. 2019. “Cultivating Consent: Opportunities and Challenges in the West Papuan Oil Palm Sector.” New Mandala. 26 August. Available online.

Salovaara, Isabel M. and Shelmith Wanjiru. 2019. “Teaching Ontologies and Activism with Sophie Chao.” Society for Cultural Anthropology, Fieldsights. 15 February. Available online.

Chao, Sophie. 2019. “The Truth About “Sustainable” Palm Oil.” SAPIENS. 13 June. Available online. (Voted Editors’ Top 10 in 2019)

Chao, Sophie. 2016. “In Deforestation’s Wake, Wild Animals Turn Troublesome.” SAPIENS. 20 September. Available online. (Voted Editors’ Top 5 in 2016)

Chao, Sophie. 2012. “Seeing the People for the Trees.” Our World 2.0, United Nations University. 8 June. Available online.


2020. “Applied Anthropology.” Australian Network of Student Anthropologists and The Familiar Strange. 7 September. With Marcus Barber, Jayne Curnow, Derek Elias, Bronwyn Hall, and Leslie Pyne, and Hanna Jagtenberg, Available online.

2020. “Ep # 59. The Palm Oil Frontier: Sophie Chao and Walking the Forest with the Marind People.” The Familiar Strange. 1 June. With Alexander d’Aiola. Available online.

2020. “Nature in Culture: Multi-Sensory Mapping with the Marind People.” The Re(e)mergence of Nature in Culture Series. Sydney Environment Institute. 20 May. With Christine Winter. Available online. (reviewed by Christine Winter).

2020. “Culture, Food. and Environment: Indigenous Experiences of Hunger in West Papua.” Sydney Southeast Asia Centre Podcasts. 19 March. With Natali Pearson. Available online.

2020. “Agribusiness, Anthropology, and Activism: An Interview with Dr Chao.” Sydney Southeast Asia Centre Podcasts. 19 March. With Natali Pearson. Available online.

2020. “What Does Anthropology Sound Like: Activism.” With Cory-Alice André-Johnson and Bianca C. Williams. AnthroPod. Society for Cultural Anthropology. 20 January. Available online.

2019. “Palm Oil and Indigenous People.” Talking Indonesia. University of Melbourne. 11 July. With Jemma Purdey. Available online. (1 of 10 most popular podcasts in 2019)

2010. “Studying Anthropology at Oxford.” Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Oxford. 12 July. With Jennie Rothera, Darryl Stellmach, Santhy Balachandran, and Mette Berg. Available online (parts 1 and 2).