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Sophie Chao, “The Beetle or the Bug” & “The Multispecies World of Oil Palm”

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Producer Sam Gleave Riemann (IOWC, McGill) is joined by Dr. Sophie Chao (Sydney) to discuss the complex ecologies of West Papuan oil palm plantations. They consider multispecies kinships, capitalist aggression, and the various critters who assist and oppose the oil palm’s presence in Papua.

Dr. Chao completed her PhD at the Macquarie University in 2019 and is now a DECRA Fellow and Lecturer in Anthropology at the University of Sydney. Prior to pursuing her doctoral studies, she worked for the Indigenous rights organization Forest Peoples Programme in Indonesia and the UK. She is the author of In the Shadow of the Palms: More-than-human Becomings in West Papua, which was published in 2022 with Duke University Press.


“The Beetle or the Bug”:

“The Multispecies World of Oil Palm”:

University Profile:

Image Credit: “Mucuna bracteata di ladang kelapa” by Ma Hzi Wong, via Wikimedia Commons

The Indian Ocean World Podcast is hosted by Dr. Philip Gooding, produced by Sam Gleave Riemann, and published under the SSHRC-funded Partnership “Appraising Risk, Past and Present.”