"Sensing Seconds and Epochs with Semi-Wild Orangutans and their Caretakers: A 21st Century Ethnographic Approach to Cross-Disciplinary Anthropology"
Juno Salazar Parreñas
Assistant Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and an affiliated Assistant Professor of Anthropology at The Ohio State University
Both climate change concerns and the Anthropocene foster thinking on the scale of geologic time. How can we, particularly as anthropologists and ethnographers, consider such a grand timescale without resorting to totalizing explanations and without losing sight of the kind of specificities that ethnographic analyses offer? This talk engages temporal scales between the epochs suggested by geological timeframes and the seconds and microseconds of intersubjective relations by considering displaced Sarawakian wildlife, specifically critically endangered orangutans, and the people in Sarawak who seek to rehabilitate displaced orangutans towards a semi-wild condition. Research for this talk spanned 17 months between 2008 and 2010, was supported with a Fulbright, and demonstrates an ethnographic approach to cross-disciplinary anthropology in which primatology and ethnography inform each other.
Juno Salazar Parreñas received her PhD in Anthropology from Harvard University in 2012 and has held postdoctoral fellowships in Agrarian Studies at Yale University and at the Rutgers’ Center for Historical Analysis. She was a past seminarian at the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 2016 and at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, Germany in 2017. She is the author of Decolonizing Extinction: the Work of Care in Orangutan Rehabilitation (Duke University Press, 2018). Her articles appear in American Ethnologist, positions: asia critique, Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience, and Cultural Anthropology Online’s Theorizing the Contemporary. Her 2012 American Ethnologist article, “Producing Affect: Transnational Volunteerism in a Malaysian Orangutan Rehabilitation Center” received the 2013 American Anthropological Association’s General Anthropology Division Prize for Exemplary Cross-Field Scholarship.