Mann, Charles .
Botany: A Human Science.
In the last 15 or 20 years, historians, anthropologists, economists, and other researchers in the human sciences have increasingly come to appreciate the impact of the non-human world on their subject material. The result has been a proliferation of sub-disciplines: environmental history, environmental economics, environmental anthropology, environmental sociology, environmental archaeology... The list goes on and on. What is often not appreciated is that often in these fields "environmental" means “botanical” (or, perhaps, "mostly botanical"). Beginning with the publication of "The Columbian Exchange" by Alfred Crosby in 1972, social scientists have acquired an ever-greater appreciation for plant characteristics and movements as drivers of human society. For obvious reasons, their studies began with food crops (and their pests), as scholars like Fernand Braudel, Joel Mokyr, Ester Boserup, and Amartya Sen explored the foundations of feast and famine. But as researchers continued, they learned to appreciate the profound impacts of other members of the Plantae--clover, tumbleweed, rubber, eucalyptus, kudzu. If anything, this relationship will only become deeper and more intense as we enter a time in which almost 10 billion people will have to cope with the effects of climate change.
Log in to add this item to your schedule
1 - PO Box 66, Amherst , MA, 01004-0066
Presentation Type: Special Presentation
Date: Sunday, July 27th, 2014
Time: 7:30 PM
Candidate for Awards:None