Ethnoprimatology: Critical interdisciplinarity and multispecies approaches in anthropology

Nicholas Malone, Alison H. Wade, Agustín Fuentes, Erin P. Riley, Melissa Remis, Carolyn Jost Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


The emerging practice of ethnoprimatology creates an important venue for diverse epistemologies in anthropology and primatology to interact in an intellectually robust and engaged manner. At the same time that multispecies ethnographies are becoming more common in social anthropology, a subset of primatologists are immersing themselves in approaches that merge ethnographic engagement with primate studies. In these endeavors the distinction between "human worlds" and "nature" is discarded and multispecies entanglements become central aspects of anthropogenic ecologies. By drawing from ecological, biological, ethnographic and historical approaches, ethnoprimatology creates a more robust and accurate methodology for anthropologists and primatologists interested in understanding complex systems of human-alloprimate interface in the Anthropocene. In this essay, we outline what ethnoprimatology is, how it plays out in real-world contexts, and why it is a potentially powerful tool to move past historical rifts in anthropological practice and integrate perspectives in a successful and engaged manner. Finally, we address the practical and ethical considerations of human-alloprimate engagements in both conservation and scientific contexts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8-29
Number of pages22
JournalCritique of Anthropology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2014
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


  • Ethnoprimatology
  • biological anthropology
  • conservation
  • ethnography
  • primatology
  • social/cultural anthropology
  • the Anthropocene


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