News and events
Vice-Chancellor's Commendation for Sophie Chao
Department of Anthropology’s recent PhD graduate, Dr Sophie Chao, has been awarded Vice-Chancellor's Commendation for her thesis titled, “In Shadow of the Palms: Plant-Human Relations among Marind-Anim, West Papua”. In his commendation letter to Sophie, Vice -Chancellor Professor Bruce Dowton congratulated her for the incredible achievement and wished her success for future.
Supervised by Dr Jaap Timmer, Sophie's thesis explores how indigenous Marind-Anim of West Papua conceptualize and engage with the socio-environmental impacts of oil palm expansion. Sophie analyses how oil palm reconfigures the lifeworld of Marind through its effects on the landscape, on time, on Marinds’ relations to plants and animals, and on Marinds’ dreams. Among her key findings, Sophie notes how widespread speculation among Marind over the attributes and effects of oil palm stems from the fact that the plant itself is seen (and feared) as a willful and destructive actant. By giving center stage to plants as ‘lethal capital’ and their ambivalent relations to humans, the thesis invites us to rethink capitalism and violence beyond the human.
Sophie said, “I am delighted to receive this award and deeply grateful to the Marind communities I worked with for making this research possible. I also thank my supervisors, Jaap Timmer, Eve Vincent, and Eben Kirksey, for the wonderful moral and academic support they provided me throughout my doctoral studies. Macquarie has been a truly stimulating environment for me, both personally and intellectually - a big thanks to the department of anthropology and to the Australian Ministry of Education and Training for funding my studies”.
Department Support for Marriage Equality
The Department of Anthropology at Macquarie University supports marriage equality. We affirm that it is the right of any adult and their consenting adult partner to have their relationship recognised under Australian law, regardless of gender.
We take this position in support of other organisations such as the Australian Medical Association, which recognises that not only is this a matter of rights, it is also a matter of health. There are negative mental and physical health results of structural discrimination, including discrimination by the state against sexual orientation.
We also take this position based on our discipline’s tradition of recognising the myriad ways that human societies organise their intimate lives. Our discipline has long used our knowledge about global cultural diversity to advocate for reforming our own society's norms, with visible public intellectuals such as Margaret Mead shaping national and global debates around sexuality. This disciplinary tradition informs our decision as anthropologists to formally support changing Australian law to recognise marriage equality for all adult Australians.
Posted on 08/09/2017
Anthropology Colloquium Session 2, 2017
|10.08.2017||Dr. Julia Vorhölter, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen||The Emergence of Psychotherapy in Uganda – Mirror or Motor of a New (Dis)Order||W6A 107|
|17.08.2017||Dr. Jovan Maud, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen||(Re)mediating the Sacred: Exploring Thai Facebook as a Ritual Field||W6A 708|
|24.08.2017||Dr. Into Goudsmit, The Asia Foundation||Progressive Extractivism: Realignment of Indigenous Communities and the Bolivian State in the Struggle for Mining Resources||W6A 708|
|31.08.2017||All Anthropology Staff||Anthropology Round Table Reading Group||Australian Hearing Hub Level 5, Seminar Room|
|07.09.2017||Dr. Banu Senay and Dr. Anna-Karina Hermkens||Religion as Creative Practice||W6A 708|
|12.10.2017||Sophie Chao, Macquarie University||To be announced||To be announced|
|19.10.2017||Dr. Matt Tomlinson, Australian National University||Learning to Communicate with the Dead||To be announced|
|26.10.2017||Dr. Andrew Dawson, The University of Melbourne||To be announced||Australian Hearing Hub, Level 5, Seminar Room|
|09.11.2017||Dr. Banu Senay||"We are not that type of Muslim": Pathways between the Anthropology of Islam and the Anthropology of Ethics||Australian Hearing Hub, Level 5, Seminar Room|