Love and Disgust: One Butterfly Two Worlds
Updated: Jan 29
This working paper is part of the Virtual Seminar series; ‘Heroes and Villains in the Anthropocene’, organized as part of the ‘Refiguring Conservation in/for ‘the Anthropocene: The Global Lives of the Orangutan’ project (ERC Starting Grant no. 758494,
The talk discusses a working paper on ontological frictions around the monarch butterfly. I unpack the tensions of the "Anthropocene" in a conservation context around a charismatic insect. My explorations on the many worlds lens, reveal its political and analytical reach. I contend it holds the possibility of rethinking nature without excluding knowledge and livelihoods, and without a single totalizing narrative around species protection (for a debate on the world/worldviews difference in anthropology see Abramson and Holbraad 2014; Henare, Holbraad, and Wastell 2007; Kohn 2013). I concur with Zoe Todd’s (2016) proposition that if we are to turn anthropology into the study of “worlds,” we must add an ‘only if’: we must do so "only if" it is committed to accounting for the active colonial relations in our sites study, and our forms of knowledge production. In this talk I attempt to account for those active colonial relations by exploring human-butterfly effects in a North and South context.