Thursday 06 June 2024 110:00 AM CEST (11:00 AM EEST)

Zoom link: https://NTNU.zoom.us/j/96664766052?pwd=bk9IM0xTaFE2MlBOS0dseWttWE15Zz09

Meeting ID: 966 6476 6052
Passcode: 165794

The Promise of Multispecies Justice
Sophie Chao
Lecturer in Anthropology, University of Sydney


Early work in the interdisciplinary field of “multispecies studies” described how symbiotic associations and the mingling of creative agents generated emergent ecological communities. Justice and injustice were part of the conversation since the field’s inception, but these concerns were ancillary to early texts, rather than the central focus. More recently, sympathetic criticism of multispecies ethnography has led many scholars to build on classic insights about how human existence is bound together with the lives of animals, plants, microbes, and fungi, in order to address emergent intersectionalities between social, environmental, racial, and multispecies justice. Drawing on an ongoing research project and recent edited volume titled The Promise of Multispecies Justice, and involving experts in cultural anthropology, geography, philosophy, science fiction, poetry, and fine art, this seminar tracks the contours of justice across space and time to ask: Who are the subjects of justice in shared worlds? In what ways does (in)justice manifest within and beyond the structures of law and language? How does expanding the scope of justice beyond the human and the law invite new possibilities for decolonizing multispecies relations, but also the concept and practice of justice itself?


Sophie Chao is Lecturer in Anthropology at the University of Sydney. Her research investigates the intersections of Indigeneity, ecology, capitalism, health, and justice in the Pacific. Chao is author of In the Shadow of the Palms: More-Than-Human Becomings in West Papua and co-editor of The Promise of Multispecies Justice. She previously worked for the Indigenous rights organization, Forest Peoples Programme. Chao is of Sino-French heritage and lives on unceded Gadigal lands in Sydney, Australia. For more, visit www.morethanhumanworlds.com.