About Me

Eben Kirksey has published two books with Duke University Press—Freedom in Entangled Worlds (2012) and Emergent Ecologies (2015)—as well as one edited collection: The Multispecies Salon (2014). He was Princeton University's 2015-2016 Currie C. and Thomas A. Barron Visiting Professor, where he was researching and writing a new book. Currently he is an Australian Research Council Fellow and the incoming Disciplinary Convener (Chair) of the Environmental Humanities program at UNSW Australia in Sydney.


EDUCATION
Ph.D. 2008 UC Santa Cruz
M.Phil. 2003 University of Oxford
B.A. 2000 New College of Florida

Monday, July 13, 2009

Indonesia's Police and Military at Open War











Timika, a city in West Papua, has become a site where an open war over money, involving the Indonesian military (TNI) and the police (POLRI), is taking place. In 2008 the U.S. mining giant Freeport McMoRan paid $8 million in support costs to security forces, according to filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Last year $1.6 million of this money went to "allowances" for TNI and POLRI officers despite a 2007 Ministerial decree handing over all security for "vital national projects" (provit) to POLRI.

TNI had financial incentive to stage the attack last weekend that left Drew Grant, an Australian national, dead. A disturbance would show that POLRI was doing a poor job at providing security for this national project. At the same time POLRI is now in a situation, much like they were with the 2002 attacks that killed three teachers in Timika, where it is in their best interest to pursue evidence of TNI involvement in the ambush. The battle between TNI and POLRI in Timika is a microcosm for a war between these two institutions on a national level. Very lucrative security contracts at other vital national projects, like BP's Tangguh project in Bintuni Bay, are at stake.

The jury is still out about who conducted the attacks over the weekend. Allegations and denials are flying from all possible corners. If investigators identify marksmen, my first questions will be: Where did they get their guns? and Who trained them?

For more details of the $1.8 million "monthly allowance" see: Aubrey Belford (2009) "US Mining Giant Still Paying Indonesian Military", AFP, 23 March.

For details on Freeport's $8 million in broader "support costs" for some 1,850 Indonesian police and soldiers see: "DJ US Giant Freeport McMoran Still Paying Indonesia Military", Dow Jones Commodities News select via Comtex, 22 March 2009.

Select Publications

Select Publications


KIRKSEY, S. E. (2015) "Species: A Praxiographic Study" Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 21, 758-780.


KIRKSEY, S. E. (2014) The Multispecies Salon, Duke University Press: Durham.


KIRKSEY, S. E. (2013) “Interspecies Love” in Lanjouw and Corbey (eds) The Politics of Species (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), pp. 164-77.


KIRKSEY, S. E., N. Shapiro, M. Brodine (2013) "Hope in Blasted Landscapes" Social Science Information, 52 (2): 228-256.


KIRKSEY, S. E. 2013 “A Messianic Multiple: West Papua, July 1998” in Bryan Turner (ed.) War and Peace: Essays on Religion and Violence (Anthem Press), pp. 37-59.


KIRKSEY, S. E. 2012 "Living with Parasites in Palo Verde National Park" Environmental Humanities, 1: 23-55.


KIRKSEY, S. E. 2012 "Thneeds Reseeds: Figures of Biocultural Hope in the Anthropocene" in G. Martin, D. Mincyte, and U. M√ľnster (eds.) Why Do We Value Diversity? Rachel Carson Perspectives vol 9: 89-94.


KIRKSEY, S. E. 2012 Freedom in Entangled Worlds, Duke University Press: Durham.


KIRKSEY, S. E. & S. HELMREICH. 2010 "The Emergence of Multispecies Ethnography", Cultural Anthropology, 25 (4): 545-576. Full Special Issue (48.8 MB)

In the News

In September 2010 Eben testified before the U.S. Congress about massacres in West Papua.


He joined Indonesian investigative reporter Andreas Harsono in 2008 to publish "Criminal Collaborations", a peer-reviewed article about Indonesian military involvement in the murder of two Americans. This research started a lively discussion in the Indonesian media and sparked a series of media articles in publications such as The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the International Herald Tribune. Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! invited Eben to discuss this research on her news show.