Academic position: Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow
UCL website: Alice Rudge
I am a social anthropologist working on language and the environment among hunter-gatherers. My current research centres on how multispecies interactions and sensory experiences shape ethical values, and asks how these values may change in the Anthropocene. I focus on everyday interactions among Batek hunter-gatherers in Peninsular Malaysia, with whom I have been conducting extended fieldwork since 2014.
My Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship investigates how environmental transformation might cause Batek people to speak about plants in new ways. Through exploring how people express ethical dilemmas surrounding plant personhood, I ask broader questions surrounding how humans might be reimagining plants in contexts of plantation agriculture. Concurrently, I hold a grant from the British Museum’s Endangered Material Knowledge Programme, for a fieldwork project entitled ‘Material Culture of Batek Hunter-Gatherers in Pahang State, Malaysia’. This project documents the sensory experiences involved in Batek weaving practices, and will allow me to examine how certain plants become intertwined with identity and ethics.
Select publications engaging with the Anthropocene:
- Rudge, A. Forthcoming 2020. ‘Hidden likeness: Iconicity and Avoidance in Batek’. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology
- Rudge, A. 2019. ‘Laughing when you shouldn’t: being “good” among the Batek of Peninsular Malaysia’. American Ethnologist. 46(3):290-301.https://anthrosource.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/amet.12826
- Rudge, A. 2019. 'Flexibility and egalitarianism: musical insights from hunter-gatherers'. Ethnomusicology Forum 28(2):163-183 https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17411912.2019.1683875?ta
- Rudge, A. 2019. ‘The Sounds of People and Birds: Music, Memory, and Longing among the Batek of Peninsular Malaysia’. Hunter Gatherer Research 4(1):3-23 https://online.liverpooluniversitypress.co.uk/doi/abs/10.3828/hgr.2018.2
- Endicott, K.M., Lye, T.P., Zahari, N., Rudge, A., 2016. Batek Playing Batek for Tourists at Peninsular Malaysia’s National Park. Hunter Gatherer Research, 2(1), pp.97–121. https://online.liverpooluniversitypress.co.uk/doi/abs/10.3828/hgr.2016.5
ANTH0069 Ethnography of Forest Peoples PG [past, 2019-2020]
ANTH0021 Hunter-Gatherers Past, Present & Future UG [upcoming 2021-2022]