SOAS Anthropology Department Seminar - Alice Rudge

Key information

3:15 pm to 5:00 pm
Brunei Gallery SOAS
Room B103, Russell Square, London WC1B 5DQ
Event type

About this event

The SOAS Anthropology Department welcomes Dr Alice Rudge for her talk Divorcing the dead, sharing with Others: negotiating alterity at the edges of a Malaysian rainforest.

This paper explores how Batek people responsively formulate alterity as they seek to live well in a context of profound marginality on the edges of a Malaysian rainforest. How people narrate, encounter, and enact alterity through drawing distinctions between themselves and Others, is often through acts of sharing.

Through tracing everyday moments of anxiety regarding sharing with Others - whether living or dead - Alice challenges essentialized notions of the meanings of alterity. She therefore argues for Batek-inspired imperatives in which anthropology might approach alterity as processual: a shifting horizon that always contains its opposites.

Thus reformulated, alterity is a responsive process of managing detachment and connection through the diverse encounters of everyday life.

About the speaker

Alice Rudge is a Lecturer in Social Anthropology at SOAS, University of London. Her research examines the senses, ethical life, Indigenous theories of Otherness and the politics of voice between plantation and rainforest contexts in Malaysia.

She addresses these topics in her book Sensing Others: Voicing Batek Ethical Lives at the Edge of a Malaysian Rainforest (2023, University of Nebraska Press).

We would like to invite attendees to join us at the IoE bar for drinks after the event to continue the conversation.


If you have any questions, please contact Alice Rudge (