Rosalie Edmonds

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

California, Los Angeles, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 9455

Approve Date

April 25, 2017

Project Title

Edmonds, Rosalie B., U. of California, Los Angeles, CA - To aid research on 'Language Ideologies, Conservation Ideologies: Multilingualism and Collaboration in Transnational Environmental Work,' supervised by Dr. Paul Kroskrity

ROSALIE B. EDMONDS, then a graduate student at University of California, Los Angeles, California, was awarded funding in April 2017 to aid research on “Language Ideologies, Conservation Ideologies: Multilingualism and Collaboration in Transnational Environmental Work,” supervised by Dr. Paul Kroskrity. The researcher conducted three months of ethnographic and linguistic fieldwork from 2017 to 2018 at the Limbe Wildlife Centre in Cameroon. This sanctuary was chosen for its reputation for successful conservation work in the midst of great cultural, linguistic, and ideological diversity. The researcher explored how this success is possible by analyzing the everyday communicative practices that occur as Cameroonian animal keepers, French managers, and European volunteers work together to care for animals rescued from illegal wildlife trafficking. Through the analysis of field notes, interviews, and video recording, the researcher found that although everyone orients to English as the main language of communication, the bulk of work at the LWC occurs instead in French or Cameroonian Pidgin English — languages that are unequally available to different people. Additionally, management, staff, and volunteers hold different motivations for and ideologies about working with animals — while management take a primatological perspective, keepers’ approaches focus on the practical contingencies involved in animal care, and volunteers come with few skills, but a passion for animals. Despite these differences, the LWC maintains an international reputation for successful conservation work.