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University Of Nebraska Press

Sensing Others: Voicing Batek Ethical Lives At The Edge Of A Malaysian Rainforest

Sensing Others: Voicing Batek Ethical Lives At The Edge Of A Malaysian Rainforest

ISBN-13: 9781496235466
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Sensing Others explores the lives of Indigenous Batek people in Peninsular Malaysia amid the strange and the new in the borderland between protected national park and oil palm plantation. As their ancestral forests disappear around them, Batek people nevertheless attempt to live well among the strange Others they now encounter: out-of-place animals and plants, traders, tourists, poachers, and forest guards. How Batek people voice their experiences of the good and the strange in relation to these Others challenges essentialized notions of cultural and species difference and the separateness of ethical worlds. Drawing on meticulous, long-term ethnographic research with Batek people, Alice Rudge argues that as people seek to make habitable a constantly changing landscape, what counts as Otherness is always under negotiation. Anthropology's traditional dictum to "make the strange familiar, and the familiar strange" creates a binary between the familiar and the Other, often encapsulating Indigenous lives as the archetypal Other to the "modern" worldview. Yet living well amid precarity involves constantly negotiating Otherness's ambivalences, as people, plants, animals, and places can all become familiar, strange, or both. Sensing Others reveals that when looking from the boundary, what counts as Otherness is impossible to pin down.


  • | Author: Alice Rudge
  • | Publisher: University Of Nebraska Press
  • | Publication Date: Oct 01, 2023
  • | Number of Pages: 326 pages
  • | Language: English
  • | Binding: Hardcover
  • | ISBN-10: 1496235460
  • | ISBN-13: 9781496235466
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