Quinn Forest Georgic

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Rice U.

Grant number

Gr. 10601

Approve Date

September 29, 2023

Project Title

Georgic, Quinn (Rice U.) "The Nature of Matriarchy: Feminist Primatology and Human-Lemur Relations in Field and Laboratory Contexts"

Primatological research on lemurs emphasizes female dominance (FD) and matriarchy as critical to the species. This project analyzes the scientific understanding of these two terms and their formation through the politics of feminist primatologists, technoscientific processes, and human/lemur relations. As lemurs are facing extinction, scientists are the select few who work with them closely in their native habitats or in captive colonies around the world. By following primatologists at both Centre ValBio research station in Madagascar and at Duke Lemur Center in Durham, North Carolina, this project asks if contextual differences at the two sites affect the gendered experiences of primatological fieldwork, influence the scientific process, and shape how researchers conceptualize and gender lemurs. Working at the intersection of feminist science and technology studies, the anthropology of conservation, and multispecies ethnography, this research evaluates the (feminist) politics and material infrastructures that configure lemur conservation. Through fieldwork at two co-synchronous sites of primatological research, this study asks how knowledge undergirding lemur conservation may be contextually and culturally specific. By researching the contingency of primatological fact, this project offers a lens to consider the political nature of future ecologies and the species that inhabit them.