About Me

Eben Kirksey is an American anthropologist who specializes on science and justice. Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Study is hosting Kirksey in the 2019-2020 academic year, where he is conducting research on gene editing, the innovation economy, and social inequality.

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

Currently he is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia. Princeton University hosted Dr. Kirksey as the 2015-2016 Currie C. and Thomas A. Barron Visiting Professor and he previously served as Program Head (Convener) of Environmental Humanities at UNSW Sydney.


Friday, October 28, 2011

Indonesian President Open to Dialog with Amnesty International

Last week Amnesty International issued this statement: "Amnesty International calls for the immediate and unconditional release of at least fourteen people who are currently being detained and interrogated by the police in Papua."

Several thousand people representing various tribes from all over Papua attended the Third Papuan People’s congress from 17- 19 October 2011. Organisers had informed the Jayapura police of the gathering as required by law. At the peaceful gathering, participants reportedly raised the prohibited Morning Star flag, a symbol of Papuan independence, and made declarations of independence. During the period of the congress there was a build up of an estimated 500 military and police personnel surrounding the venue.

On the afternoon of 19 October 2011, the final day of the congress, military and police units approached the venue and started firing shots into the air to break up the peaceful gathering. This caused widespread panic among the participants who began to flee. As they fled, police units from the Jayapura City police station and the regional police headquarters fired tear gas and then arbitrarily arrested an estimated 300 hundred participants.

Police and military officers allegedly beat participants with their pistols, rattan canes and batons during the arrest. The bodies of two participants, Melkias Kadepa, a student, and Yakobus Samonsabra, were found near the area of the congress with bullet wounds."

In response to this statement by Amnesty (read the full statement here) the President of Indonesia told the press that he was open to dialog with human rights NGOs:

TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono asked the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Djoko Suyanto to explain the position of the government of Indonesia to the Amnesty International-regarding problems in Papua. The president made this response to allegations by Amnesty about human rights violations and demands political prisoners be released.

"I hope that Minister Suyanto will act as a coordinator with the relevant officials to engage in dialogue with Amnesty International. Explain the basic position and policy of our approach. Thus, there will be no misunderstanding, misconception, or other matters that are not necessary the case," the president said when opening the meeting plenary cabinet at the State Secretariat Jakarta, Thursday, October 27, 2011.

The president said Indonesia is an open and democratic country with a policy that could be accounted for. If there is an error on the part of the military and police officers, the law will be enforced. Similarly, if an error or a violation was made by others.

"For the sake of justice must also be enforced, and (given) the same legal sanction. The law must also be enforced, security must also be kept. It's very clear and in a variety of occasions when I met with many world leaders, I explained all this," he said.

Matter of government policy, the president compared Indonesia's actions with the hundreds of people in New York who were detained by local authorities for shutting down streets with demonstrations, and riots that also occurred in England some time ago. Detention of people because they act against the law, is happening around the world.

Because Indonesia is also a state governed by law, the President requested this position be explained to non-governmental organizations and nongovernmental organizations. "I hope what I have to say, is that this could be communicated to Amnesty International and other NGOs. Dialog with us, Indonesia is very open to discussing these allegations," he said.

This is a quick translation I did of this article. The original, in Indonesian, is here.

Select Publications

Select Publications

SHAPIRO, N & E. Kirksey (2017) "Chemo-ethnography: An Introduction" Cultural Anthropology 32(4): 481-493.

KIRKSEY, S. E. (2017) "Lively Multispecies Communities, Deadly Racial Assemblages, and the Promise of Justice" South Atlantic Quarterly 116(1): 195-206.

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.

Testimony at Congressional hearing: Crimes Against Humanity from Eben Kirksey on Vimeo.

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.