Dr Susannah Chapman

ARC DECRA Senior Research Fellow

School of Social Science
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
susannah.chapman@uq.edu.au
+61 7 336 53309

Overview

Dr Susannah Chapman is a Research Fellow at The University of Queensland. As an environmental and legal anthropologist, her research explores the intersection of law, science, and society, with a particular focus on transformations in human-plant relations, intellectual property, and food and seed regulation since the early twentieth century. Using ethnographic and archival methods, her work asks questions about the coloniality, biopolitics, and translational practices of contemporary efforts to regulate plant reproductive material and crop diversity in the United States, The Gambia and Australia. Dr Chapman was awarded her PhD in Anthropology from the University of Georgia. She has previously worked at the University of Georgia, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, and the University of The Gambia.

Research Interests

  • Intellectual Property
  • Environmental and economic anthropology
  • Political Ecology
  • Post-colonial studies
  • Science and technology studies

Research Impacts

Dr Chapman's research speaks to issues of agrobiodiversity conservation, the politics of translation in deliberations over intellectual property, and shifts in regulatory structures for plant germplasm. Her current research explores how changes in intellectual property arrangements in Australia are reshaping the social, economic, and technological relations of agricultural supply chains.

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Georgia

Publications

View all Publications

Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision

Available Projects

  • This is a UQ-funded PhD project linked to the Australian Research Council-funded project “The Social Life of Royalties” (School of Social Sciences, The University of Queensland). The PhD project would suit candidates with backgrounds in anthropology, sociology, cultural studies, science and technology studies, or a related field.

    The larger study, to which the PhD project is attached, explores changes in intellectual property protection for plants in Australia and how these shifts are shaping practices of audit, traceability, and ownership in agricultural supply chains for grains and fruits. Congruent with these legal shifts has been the rise of new branding practices for fruit, including the development of brand-name crop varieties and the marketing of brand fruits through print media, YouTube, and Instagram. The successful PhD applicant will develop a project that explores the rise of brand name fruits within Australia’s food sector and its relationship to emerging relations of food production and/or consumption, including novel forms of commodification, audit, marketing, and signification. For example, potential project topics could include consideration of new branding practices alongside the rise of alternative seed networks, the signification of historic crops and their relation to markers of identity and place, the representational practices of capitalist supply chains, or the relations of audit and trust that accompany new forms of certification and branding.

    It is envisaged that this project would use a mixture of ethnographic and archival research, but there is space to incorporate diverse methodologies.

    The successful PhD applicant will be based in the School of Social Science at The University of Queensland. More information about how to apply can be found at: https://graduate-school.uq.edu.au/phd-scholarships-humanities

    There is considerable flexibility in the focus, scope, and methods of project that the successful applicant can develop. Prospective applicants should feel free to contact Susannah Chapman (susannah.chapman@uq.edu.au) if they have questions.

    Successful applicants must be able to commence no later than January 1, 2022.

View all Available Projects

Publications

Featured Publications

Book

  • Brad Sherman and Susannah Chapman eds. (2020). Intellectual property and agriculture. Critical Concepts in Intellectual Property Law series, Cheltenham, United Kingdom : Edward Elgar. doi: 10.4337/9781788973885

Book Chapter

  • Chapman, Susannah and Heald, Paul J. (2020). Agrobiodiversity loss and the construction of regulatory frameworks for crop germplasm. Environmental resilience and food law. (pp. 159-179) edited by Gabriela Steier and Alberto Giulio Cianci. Boca Raton, FL USA: CRC Press. doi: 10.1201/9780429443350-9

  • Coombe, Rosemary J. and Chapman, Susannah (2020). Ethnographic explorations of intellectual property. In Oxford research encyclopedia of anthropology (pp. 1-45) Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/acrefore/9780190854584.013.115

  • Sherman, Brad and Chapman, Susannah (2020). Rethinking intellectual property law's relationship with agriculture. Intellectual property and agriculture. (pp. xiii-xviii) edited by Brad Sherman and Susannah Chapman. Cheltenham, United Kingdom: Edward Elgar.

  • Chapman, Susannah and Brown, Tom (2013). Apples of Their Eyes: Apple Trees and Memory Keepers of the American South. Seeds of Resistance/Seeds of Hope: Place and Agency in the Conservation of Biodiversity. (pp. 42-64) edited by Virginia Nazarea, Robert Rhoades and Jenna Andrews-Swann. Arizona USA: University of Arizona Press.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.

  • This is a UQ-funded PhD project linked to the Australian Research Council-funded project “The Social Life of Royalties” (School of Social Sciences, The University of Queensland). The PhD project would suit candidates with backgrounds in anthropology, sociology, cultural studies, science and technology studies, or a related field.

    The larger study, to which the PhD project is attached, explores changes in intellectual property protection for plants in Australia and how these shifts are shaping practices of audit, traceability, and ownership in agricultural supply chains for grains and fruits. Congruent with these legal shifts has been the rise of new branding practices for fruit, including the development of brand-name crop varieties and the marketing of brand fruits through print media, YouTube, and Instagram. The successful PhD applicant will develop a project that explores the rise of brand name fruits within Australia’s food sector and its relationship to emerging relations of food production and/or consumption, including novel forms of commodification, audit, marketing, and signification. For example, potential project topics could include consideration of new branding practices alongside the rise of alternative seed networks, the signification of historic crops and their relation to markers of identity and place, the representational practices of capitalist supply chains, or the relations of audit and trust that accompany new forms of certification and branding.

    It is envisaged that this project would use a mixture of ethnographic and archival research, but there is space to incorporate diverse methodologies.

    The successful PhD applicant will be based in the School of Social Science at The University of Queensland. More information about how to apply can be found at: https://graduate-school.uq.edu.au/phd-scholarships-humanities

    There is considerable flexibility in the focus, scope, and methods of project that the successful applicant can develop. Prospective applicants should feel free to contact Susannah Chapman (susannah.chapman@uq.edu.au) if they have questions.

    Successful applicants must be able to commence no later than January 1, 2022.