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Rodent Trapping and the Just Possible

Title data

Lee, Jia Hui:
Rodent Trapping and the Just Possible.
In: Chao, Sophie ; Bolender, Karin ; Kirksey, Eben (ed.): The Promise of Multispecies Justice. - Durham, N.C. : Duke University Press , 2022 . - pp. 157-178
ISBN 978-1-4780-1889-6

Project information

Project title:
Project's official title
Project's id
Smelling Danger: Training Rats and Modeling Environments for Landmine Detection in Tanzania and Cambodia

Project financing: Wenner-Gren Foundation

Abstract in another language

I show how we can interpret rodent traps in Tanzania as instruments both of killing and of justice. The very practices of making technologies for rodent killing are, through a trapmaker’s creative designs, meditations on the limits of animal welfare as a framework for discussing pest control. Discussions about animal welfare can sometimes overlook those precarious livelihoods that depend on minimizing the effects of “animals that cause damage” (waharibifu), the Tanzanian expression for “pests.” Rather than focus on the term human/e and its accompanying ethical considerations of what killing should look like, I underscore how Iddy and other Tanzanians articulate a version of multispecies justice through their efforts to preserve their livelihoods amid challenges posed by rodents, a lack of resources, and limited formal education. Rodent traps are crucial material-semiotic interventions into discussions about multispecies relations in contexts where human lives exist at the very edge of survival.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a book
Refereed: Yes
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Cultural Studies > Junior Professor Science and Technology Studies of the Global South > Junior Professor Science and Technology Studies of the Global South - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Jia Hui Lee
Profile Fields
Profile Fields > Advanced Fields
Profile Fields > Advanced Fields > African Studies
Result of work at the UBT: No
DDC Subjects: 300 Social sciences > 300 Social sciences, sociology and anthropology
600 Technology, medicine, applied sciences
Date Deposited: 25 Jul 2023 07:57
Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 08:09