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  • Acknowledgments  ix
    Introduction: Decolonizing Extinction  1
    Part I. Relations
    1. From Ape Motherhood to Tough Love  33
    2. On the Surface of Skin and Earth  61
    Part II. Enclosures
    3. Forced Copulation for Conservation  83
    4. Finding a Living  105
    Part III. Futures
    5. Arrested Autonomy  131
    6. Hospice for a Dying Species  157
    Conclusion: Living and Dying Together  177
    Notes  189
    References  223
    Index  255
  • "This is seriously thought-provoking and challenging material, and it may be essential to understand it if we want to save orangutans from ourselves."


  • "This is seriously thought-provoking and challenging material, and it may be essential to understand it if we want to save orangutans from ourselves."

  • “Even the processes of extinction are subject to active colonization. But what would shared vulnerability be outside violent domination and ongoing colonization of human and nonhuman others? This book's focus is the painful work of care of captive 'rehabilitating' orangutans by workers themselves enmeshed in structures of arrested autonomy. These are extraordinary, entirely unromantic social relations at the edge of extinction and at the heart of extraction and exploitation. Here is a deep, heartfelt, and quite simply brilliant book that gives us a needed theory of decolonization in the everyday work of care in impossible circumstances. Who lives and who dies and how inside which practices of care? How might things—still—be otherwise?” — Donna J. Haraway, author of, Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene

    “How can humans and orangutans share a future together in the midst of violence and extinction? How do we embrace risk and cultivate attentiveness with endangered species? Can we let go of safe inequality? In this moving, stunning story of interspecies relations in a Malaysian wildlife center, Juno Salazar Parreñas demands we decolonize our understanding of conviviality, extinction, and loss. Functioning as an orangutan hospice, a place for palliation and not solutions, the wildlife center becomes a tragic allegory for the fate of our planet. What is to be done? Here Parreñas allows us to glimpse a different future.” — Warwick Anderson, author of, Colonial Pathologies: American Tropical Medicine, Race, and Hygiene in the Philippines

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  • Description

    In Decolonizing Extinction Juno Salazar Parreñas ethnographically traces the ways in which colonialism, decolonization, and indigeneity shape relations that form more-than-human worlds at orangutan rehabilitation centers on Borneo. Parreñas tells the interweaving stories of wildlife workers and the centers' endangered animals while demonstrating the inseparability of risk and futurity from orangutan care. Drawing on anthropology, primatology, Southeast Asian history, gender studies, queer theory, and science and technology studies, Parreñas suggests that examining workers’ care for these semi-wild apes can serve as a basis for cultivating mutual but unequal vulnerability in an era of annihilation. Only by considering rehabilitation from perspectives thus far ignored, Parreñas contends, could conservation biology turn away from ultimately violent investments in population growth and embrace a feminist sense of welfare, even if it means experiencing loss and pain.

    About The Author(s)

    Juno Salazar Parreñas is Assistant Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at The Ohio State University and editor of Gender: Animals.
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