Conference Presentation

  • Sessions/Themes

    1. Trans-regional flows, past and present.  Besides well-known histories of the Great Exchange, how have movements of plants across regions contributed to continually re-structure plant knowledge? Are there patterns in humans’ fascination with exotic plants? What do movements of plants reveal about species selection and controversial processes of domestication? Can cross-disciplinary insights from anthropological, archaeological, historical, philosophical, biological, and chemical evidence bring new elements to the discussion of how people structure their relations with plants?

    2. Plants and their bundles of knowledge. How is the value of plants constituted in local plant exchanges?  What adaptations have been made to accommodate incommensurable perceptions of value in local and global perspectives? Besides the debate between utilitarian and intellectual components of plant value, can a discussion of immaterial components of value contribute to the design of better conservation, biodiversity, and heritage management programs? Case studies with a focus on plant value are invited across disciplines.

    3. Plant genetics and the transformation of plant knowledge and value.  This session invites papers that discuss the implications of the new methodological and theoretical perspectives brought about by recent developments in plant sciences on human-plant relationships.  What new challenges, including the politics and policies surrounding the acquisition and control of biodiversity resources, but also possibilities are associated with the blurring of material and immaterial values of plants? Can ethno-bio initiatives still contribute to global science or is the revival of ‘native science’ merely social and cultural?

    4. New flows of cultural value around ‘people and plants’. Biodiversity and its associated mandate to ‘sustain and preserve’ have created a cascade of transformations in perceptions of plant value. Creative strategies across multiple environments for the conservation of plants and their immaterial values are inscribed in global political economic trends but they also have the potential to shape new human-plant relations in the 21st century. Both general papers and case-studies are invited to explore this potential.