This post builds on the research article “Naturalcultural encounters in Bali: Monkeys, Temples, Tourists, and Ethnoprimatology,” which was published in the November 2010 issue of the Society’s peer-reviewed journal, Cultural Anthropology.
In the November 2010 issue of Cultural Anthropology, Agustin Fuentes describes the work of ethnoprimatologists working in Bali, collaborative researchers who are conducting transdisciplinary studies in a traditional field. "Naturalcultural Encounters in Bali: Monkeys, Temples, Tourists, and Ethnoprimatology" makes visible interspecies relationships between humans and macaques, showing the cultural, historical, and physiological dimensions of shared ecology. By making sense of multispecies interactions within mutual ecologies, ethnoprimatologists, Fuentes argues, have much to contribute to contemporary understandings of environmental change. Moreover, the work of ethnoprimatologists helps to dismantle old epistemological boundaries within sociocultural research. Bringing multispecies ethnography to his own ethnoprimalogical study, Fuentes opens perceptions and paradigms, stating that we "should move past the notion of definitive discrete distinctions in favor of fluid and reciprocating interfaces that change over time creating spaces, bodies, and niches of relevance to our understanding of human animal and the other animal experiences."
Cultural Anthropology has published a number of essays on human relations to other animals. See, for example, Anand Pandian's “Pastoral Power in the Postcolony: On the Biopolitics of the Criminal Animal in South India” (2008), David McDermott Hughes' “Third Nature: Making Space and Time in the Great Limpopo Conservation Area” (2005), Paul Hanson's “Governmentality, Language Ideology, and the Production of Needs in Malagasy Conservation and Development” (2007), and Celia Lowe's “Making the Monkey: How the Togean Macaque Went from "New Form" to "Endemic Species' in Indonesians' Conservation Biology” (2004).
Photos from the Field
All photos by Agustin Fuentes, submitted to Cultural Anthropology in November 2010.