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People and Plants: Material and Immaterial Transactions

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http://www.crassh.cam.ac.uk/events/25027 Plants have moved with people across the globe in extensive trans-regional flows that are progressively uncovered in greater detail due to technological advances across disciplines. Flows of plants, from local to intercontinental exchanges, have always been accompanied with transactions and cultural translations on human, cultural, intellectual, political and economic levels. These exchanges have often been conditioned by the interests of those who govern exchange across areas and they have contributed to shape perceptions of plants and their uses through history.

This conference addresses issues related to the value socially conferred to plants as resources that are both material and immaterial. With plants, bundles of ecological knowledge, know-how on propagation and cultivation, novel uses and also important understandings about human physiology and therapeutic applications are passed on and transformed along the way. This can be traced in the past and is of interest not just to scholars but also for analyzing and addressing the dissemination of seeds, the complex continuum from wild species to cultivars, the adaptation of plants to changing climates and diversification of species across continents. An interdisciplinary grasp of demand and supply for plant products in space and time can throw light on novel forms of commodification and commercialisation as well as on conservation programmes.

This talk is part of the CRASSH series.

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