Published: Feb. 26, 2024

Indonesian Potluck

Saturday, March 2, 2024, 5pm to 7pm
CU Rec Center, Ice Overlook Large Meeting Room

Please join a potluck!



(720) 541-0104

Co-Sponsored by the Center for Asian Studies and the Metropolitan State University Denver Asian Studies Program.

“We are the twins of Komodo dragons”: Multispecies Kinship and Indigenous Spatial politics in Indonesia’s Ecotourism Frontiers

Friday, March 1, 3:35pm
Guggenheim 205

Dr. Cypri Jehan Paju Dale
Research Fellow
University of Wisconsin Madison

In Komodo National Park, the natural habitat of world’s largest living lizard known as Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis) and the indigenous people of Ata Modo, a zoning system has been instrumental in the process of commodification of the dragon and the transformation of its habitat into  an ecotourism frontier. This talk draws upon an ethnographic and historical analysis of the two large scale ecotourism projects administered by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the Indonesian government  in the park in the last 30 years: first, to analyze the mobilization of a zoning system as a tool of control over the protected area and its inhabitants in order to ease the capitalist expansion to the indigenous and multispecies territory and second, to elucidate the articulation of Indigenous spatial politics that relies on the revitalization of multispecies kinship relationship with the Komodo dragons to contest the exclusionary nature of the new tourism industry. While the zoning system—and indeed the whole logic of conservation and ecotourism— is based on the modernist separation and hierarchy between human and nature, indigenous spatial politics relies on the intimate relationship with the dragon, perceived in  the indigenous cosmology as twins of the human that were born from the same mother and share the same living space on the islands. The presentation wishes to contribute to the conversation on the political ecology of ecotourism by highlighting ecotourism both as a discourse and policy regime that merge conservation and economic development and its entanglement with spatial politics as a process of negotiating social and environmental relationships in the increasingly disruptive capitalist world.

Part of the CU Boulder Geography Colloquium series, co-sponsored by the Center for Asian Studies.

Anthropology of Japan Series: As Intelligent as its Authors: Writing Conversational Artificial Intelligence in Japan

Wed, Feb 28, 2024, 12:20-1:10pm MT, on Zoom

Register in advance:

Dr. Elizabeth Rodwell

Assistant Professor, Department of Information & Logistics Technology University of Houston

Behind the scenes of every chatbot and conversational artificial intelligence (AI) system is the labor of conversation designers, whose work lies somewhere between the application of user experience principles and the art of script writing. Conversation designers construct the voices and polish the tone that gives these tools a personality (or tries to avoid one). Based on ongoing fieldwork at a Japanese Conversational AI startup, I discuss how one team of conversation designers is shaping a GPT-based tool to help measure students’ English language competency and help them practice without self-consciousness. This project has recently gotten a lot of attention in the Japanese press, but those who tell its story frequently forget about the contribution of anyone except the engineers- especially the linguists, psychologists, and teachers who are this tool’s voice.