21 April 2023

The Promise of Multispecies Justice

Sophie Chao in Conversation with Terese Gagnon.

How might we imagine justice in times of ecological harm? How are human struggles for social justice entangled with the lives of other beings including plants, animals, fungi, and microbes? What is at stake when claims are made about who or what is the subject of justice? These questions and more are explored in this conversation between Terese Gagnon and Sophie Chao, co-editor of the new volume The Promise of Multispecies Justice from Duke University Press.

In addition to unpacking key questions posed by the volume Terese and Sophie discuss some of the volume’s chapters, which are empirically rooted in Asia. These chapters cover topics of spectral justice in the Indian Himalayas, and justice for humans and “pests” on banana plantations in the Philippines region of Mindanao. Additionally, Sophie shares about her research on more-than-human solidarities in racial justice protests in the Indonesian-controlled province of West Papua. This interdisciplinary conversation covers critical developments in the social sciences and humanities as well as works of contemporary art and poetry including by Chamorro scholar Craig Santos Perez, author of Navigating CHamoru Poetry.

Sophie Chao is Discovery Early Career Researcher Award Fellow and 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.

Related podcasts

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  • Urban Climate Change and Adaptation: Messages from the IPCC Report for Southeast Asia


  • Transcendence and Sustainability: Asian Visions with Global Promise


The Nordic Asia Podcast is a collaboration sharing expertise on Asia across the Nordic region, brought to you by the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) based at the University of Copenhagen, along with our academic partners: the Centre for East Asian Studies at the University of Turku, and Asianettverket at the University of Oslo.

We aim to produce timely, topical and well-edited discussions of new research and developments about Asia.

This work has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe coordination and support action 101079069 — EUVIP — HORIZON-WIDERA-2021-ACCESS-03.
Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Research Executive Agency (REA) . Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.