Photo for Repatriated Lions and Rehabilitated Orangutans:

Book cover of "Decolonizing Extinction: The Work of Care in Orangutan Rehabilitation" (Duke UP, 2018); cropped

Culture, Power, Social Change Colloquium with Juno Parrenas (Cornell University)

Thursday, March 4, 2021
12:15 PM - 1:45 PM (Pacific Time)
Registration Required

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The emergence of multispecies ethnography could be read as evading the hard question of why the discipline of anthropology has a hard time addressing racism. Inspired by Aisha M. Belisa-de Jesús and Jemima Pierre’s challenge to pursue an anthropology of white supremacy, this talk engages the racialized and gendered dynamics of animal advocacy in South Africa and on Borneo in present-day Malaysia as a way to consider posthuman anthropology in a time of misanthropy. In South Africa, ex-circus lions from Latin America, Middle East, and Eastern Europe have been repatriated to white-owned properties. In Malaysia, wildlife centers harbor displaced orangutans and their operations depend on both commercialized volunteering efforts and local low-wage labor. Comparing these two sites offers a way to think about race and racism by thinking about animals.


Juno Salazar Parreñas is a feminist science studies scholar who examines human-animal relations, environmental issues, and efforts to institutionalize justice. Parreñas’ book, Decolonizing Extinction: The Work of Care in Orangutan Rehabilitation (Duke UP, 2018) received the 2019 Michelle Z. Rosaldo Prize, biennially awarded by the Association for Feminist Anthropology for a first book, an honorable mention for the 2019 New Millennium Prize biennially awarded by the Society for Medical Anthropology, an honorable mention for the 2019 Diana Forsythe Prize jointly awarded by the Society for the Anthropology of Work and the Committee for the Anthropology of Science, Technology, and Computing, and an honorable mention for the 2020 Harry Benda Prize from the Association for Asian Studies. She is the editor of Gender: Animals (Macmillan Interdisciplinary Handbooks, 2017). Her article, “Producing Affect: Transnational volunteerism in a Malaysian orangutan rehabilitation center,” received the 2013 General Anthropology Division’s Exemplary Cross-Field Scholarship Prize. She is also a featured columnist in the Los Angeles based monthly magazine The Lesbian News.


 To join this Zoom talk, register here.


Sponsor(s): Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Culture, Power, Social Change