Yale University’s working group on global environmental history announces a one-day conference entitled "Two Kingdoms: New Perspectives on Flora and Fauna in Environmental History."
Human societies have always been defined by their relationship to plants and animals, whether through the domestication efforts that underlay the earliest sedentary societies, the commodification of plants and animals that arrived in the industrial age, or the new opportunities for manipulation that genetic engineering has provided. This conference uses the topic of plants and animals to explore current scholarship in environmental history presented by ten doctoral students from northeastern universities.
Three moderated panel sessions will explore our conference theme. Our first session will examine resource conservation, including forests in pre-industrial Korea, native Hereford cattle in Britain, and migratory shorebirds in the United States. Our second session will explore the connections between wildlife, humans, and environmental change, including pigs in India, birds in New York City and Philadelphia, and moose in the colonial Maritime Peninsula and Gulf of Maine. Our third session will consider scientific experimentation and technology in agriculture and dairy production and in research on curare poison.
Presentations will be approximately 15 minutes, based on papers circulated in advance to panel commentators and attendees. A faculty panel, including Harriet Ritvo (MIT), Nancy Jacobs (Brown), and Aaron Sachs (Cornell) will conclude the day.
9:30 Opening Remarks Paul Sabin, Yale University
Eric Rutkow, Yale University
9:45-11:00 Panel 1: Resource Conservation
Chair: Peter Perdue, Yale University
John Lee (Harvard): "Protect the Pines, Punish the People: The Social Implications of Forest Conservation in Pre-Industrial Korea, 1600-1876"
Rebecca Woods (MIT): "The Return of the Native Breed: Place, Belonging and Hereford Cattle in Britain"
Kristoffer Whitney (University of Pennsylvania): "Domesticating Nature?: Surveillance and Conservation of Migratory Shorebirds in the 20th Century"
Commentator: Steven Stoll, Fordham University
11:20-12:35 Panel 2: Wildlife, Humans and Environmental Change
Chair: Alan Mikhail, Yale University
Thomas Wickman (Harvard): "Great Snows and Big Animals: Moose and Other Ungulates on the Contested Maritime Peninsula in the Little Ice Age, 1675-1700"
Radhika Govindrajan (Yale): "Pigs Gone Wild: The Production of Wildness and Human-Wildlife Conflict in Modern India"
Nadia Berenstein (University of Pennsylvania): "They Rush Blindly at the Light at the Expense of Their Lives”: Bird Collisions, Urban Illumination, and ‘Tragedies of Migration’ in New York City and Philadelphia, 1887-1915"
Commentator: Shafqat Hussain, Trinity College
12:35 Buffet Lunch (free for all registered participants)
1:45-3:35 Panel 3: Scientific Experimentation and Technology
Chair: Daniel Kevles, Yale University
Tamar Novick (University of Pennsylvanis): "Holy Cow! On Milk Yield, Fertility and the Creation of Plenty in Palestine/Israel"
Helen Curry (Yale): "King-sized Cabbages and Miracle Marigolds: Creating Crops and Flowers with a Chemical, 1937-1950"
Sarah Sutton (Brandeis): "Rethinking Land and Labor: Shifting Family Values and the Transition to Industrialized Dairy Farming in New England"
Shira Shmu'ely (MIT): "'The Flying Death': Curare Travels From American Jungles to the British Laboratories"
Commentator: Sarah Phillips, Boston University
4:00-5:15 Faculty panel
Nancy Jacobs, Brown University
Aaron Sachs, Cornell University
Harriet Ritvo, MIT
Moderator: Rachel Rothschild, Yale University
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