Aaron Su

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Princeton U.

Grant number

Gr. 10352

Approve Date

April 13, 2022

Project Title

Su, Aaron (Princeton U.) “Emplacing Planetary Health: Decolonizing Smart Technologies with Traditional Chinese and Indigenous Knowledges in Taiwan”

In Taiwan, non-profit organizations such are beginning to grapple with the limits of existing technocratic approaches for pursuing planetary health ‘ a concept in health policy emphasizing the entanglement of human, interspecies, and environmental wellbeing. In an effort to improve existing public health practices and environmental monitoring systems, these organizations are increasingly collaborating with technological developers as well as traditional Rukai medical healers and environmental experts in order to decolonize smart technologies and craft new methods for addressing contemporary medical and environmental issues. Through 14 months of ethnographic research I will interrogate how, as part of a wider Indigenous historical and transitional justice movement in the country, these actors adopt a ‘participatory design’ model in their collaboration to produce health education apps, telemedicine services, and environmental monitoring sensors inflected with local knowledge for the Rukai community. Importantly, I will also analyze how ‘participatory design’ relates to, or detracts from, larger Indigenous demands for self-determination in Taiwan.