Tag Archives: Hominidae

The Personal, The Emotional, The Sexual

“How could primatology not be a territory of feminist struggle? Western women’s place is indeed in the jungle. Whether other women and men occupy that material/mythic space when they watch monkeys and apes is a function of other histories and other stories.” (Haraway, 1984)

I am currently close to completion of the second-to-last taught module of my master’s programme: Family Hominidae and Other Primates. I was distracted at the outset of this module by my lack of primatological knowledge…. What is the primate family tree? What are the old and new world monkeys? Must I really tackle Charles Darwin’s On The Origin of Species? One symptom of my CFS/ME-induced cognitive issues is a preoccupation with details. But I’m happy to say I moved on fairly swiftly as we progressed through the weekly topics, and didn’t dwell for too long on my inability to retain hundreds of latin taxonomical terms…


macaque. image from pixabay.

We will complete two assignments for this module: an academic poster critiquing a study, and a longer essay on the topic of our choice. Now, an abundance of choice is something that throws up barriers to me every time too; I know that I tend to prevaricate terribly and often change my mind multiple times when it comes to the subject matter. But I also know that choosing an essay question too soon might preclude a topic covered later on in the schedule that absolutely has me gripped. Blessedly, the issue was avoided entirely as I found one question nagging at me throughout the first few weeks of the course: what is the importance of the contribution of women scientists to the field of primatology? Unusually, the most well-known of all primatologists are women (Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey) and many women, whilst not so ‘famous’, continue to contribute to the field: more so than in many other sciences. Continue reading