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Cambridge Global Food Security

An Interdisciplinary Research Centre at the University of Cambridge

Studying at Cambridge


Plants and People: material and immaterial resources in trans-regional flows

When Jun 26, 2014 12:00 AM to
Jun 27, 2014 12:00 AM
Where The Scott Polar Institute, Lensfield Road, Cambridge CB2 1ER
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From local to vast intercontinental exchanges, flows of plants have always been accompanied by human transactions or translations on cultural, intellectual, political and economic levels. Recent research prompts us to re-assess what relationships may have been obscured in colonial projects and, more recently, in bioprospecting – relationships rarely addressed due to disciplinary boundaries.  How is our understanding of past and present, material and non-material values associated with plants being transformed across local, regional and global levels? This symposium aims to raise greater awareness not only of past flows of plants but also of the creativity presently displayed by local actors to overcome barriers set by both international law and obsolete concepts inherited from earlier anthropology.

Main themes for discussion:

1. Trans-regional flows, past and present.  

2. Plants and their bundles of knowledge. 

3. Plant genetics and the transformation of plant knowledge and value. 

4. New flows of cultural value around ‘people and plants’.

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