Day 3, Stream 2

Botanical Relations

Click here for the Keynote Address for this Stream

Children of the palms: Sago-human convivialities in West Papua
Sophie Chao
University of Sydney

Crop wild relative conservation, re-staging domestication narratives, and the promise of convivial futures
Anna-Katharina Laboissière
Curtin University

New tropicalities, oil palm in the post plantationocene
Michelle Lai Jingmin
Independent Researcher; Office of Lost Plants (Collective)

Thanks to Andrew Flachs and Vinicius Furuie for acting as Discussants for this panel.

Vinicius Furuie's response.

To respond to the Presentations, leave a reply in the comments section below.

If you would like to include an audio or visual reply, email it to before Oct 9.

Andrew Dickson is the Chair of this panel

Comments 5

  1. Dear Vinivius and Andrew, a huge thank you for your rich and generous comments on our presentations. You both identified important threads and weaves across the various talks, which I’d going to be thinking about for a while to come! I’ll respond to your questions in more detail later – looking forward to being on conversation with you, Michelle, and Anna-Katharina!

    1. Sophie, I have just had a chance to view/listen to your beautifully vivid, viscerally rich presentation that reminded me so much of my own research in the Andaman Islands with Onge, and the first paper I wrote after completing 18 months of fieldwork there titled ‘Food and the Colonial Enterprise.’ I wrote about ‘gastroanomie’ too, and the kinds of losses experienced by sedenterised Onge when disconnected from the forest and their former semi-nomadic life, seasonally alternating between the forest, seashore and interior waterways laden with the diversity of foods that nourished them. At that time, all those decades ago, I didn’t have at hand the conceptual multispecies vocabularly that has so enriched contemporary anthropological thinking, so your presentation was both a trip down memory lane as well as a pleasurable re-connection to how those issues manifest in a different contemporary context to tell a similar yet different story. Thank you!

      1. Sophie, after listening to Vinicius’ remarks and seeing the title of one your papers in the ref list ‘Eat and be Eaten…’, one more thread of connected to my Andaman work emerged through the role of particular spirits and the ways in which their presence shaped where Onge would move according to season, namely always the spaces vacated by spirits, so that Onge could avoid become their prey! Fascinating convergences across diverse lifeworlds.

      2. Hi Sita,

        Thanks for your wonderfully generous comments on my presentation – I would love to read your paper Food and the Colonial Enterprise, could you possibly send it to me by email at It sounds like we have lots to converse about across our respective worlds of learning!

  2. Sophie, loved your presentation! I find multi-species relationships in food systems truly fascinating. My own focus is more on bees. I really like how you tied in so many parts of the system together in a clear and meaningful way. I really like how you frame monocultures as sites of convivial degradation, not just land degradation. More deeply they represent a loss of rich multispecies relationships, causing the loss of a ‘living landscape’, which can no longer thrive. I will also check out gastro-anomie and gastro-colonialism as I think they will be very useful for thinking through which food systems dominate and why. This extremely useful, thank you.

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