People and Plants

People and Plants's image
Created: 2014-07-21 08:36
Institution: Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities
Editors' group: Management group for "Centre for Research in the Arts - Social Sciences and Humanities".
Description: Conveners

Françoise Barbira Freedman (Social Anthropology)

Piers Vitebsky (Scott Polar Reserach Institute)

Summary

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?

We can regard plants as bundles of ecological knowledge, of know-how on propagation and cultivation, novel uses and key understandings about human physiology and therapeutic applications. These bundles of knowledge are passed on and transformed along the routes over which plants are carried. Traceable over time, this process is of interest not only for the analysis of plant dissemination, , the complex continuum from wild species to cultivars and the adaptation of plants to changing climates, but also when addressing the role of plants and plant communities in structuring social relationships. New insights from chemistry, plant sciences, and the social sciences increasingly challenge past anthropocentric perspectives on plants and invite further discussion.

Changing factors such as resource depletion, climate change, hegemonic shifts, and economic disparities are affecting plant flows. Yet they also offer incentives to develop new approaches, particularly with regards to conservation. There is a need to address the cultural gap between the muted plant exchanges that continue to support grassroots horticulture and the new traffic of seeds and cash crops embedded in economic development. Both forms of cultural traffic not only transform regional borders but also circulate contrasting values, objects, practices, meanings and identities that are not easily reconciled.

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.

Interest in immaterial resources associated with plants has developed in parallel with new approaches to biodiversity and conservation since the late 1990s. While international conventions and patent law give priority to owners and inventors of plant knowledge, the discourse of traditional rights supporting
indigenous people’s ancestral knowledge has become entrenched in essentialist notions of communities and tradition. Pre-empting a polarization between TEK, (traditional ecological knowledge) and cosmopolitan intellectual property, and between tradition and technological innovation, a focus on the movements of plants and the material and non-material resources linked to them may allow new interpretations of what constitutes ‘knowledge’ of and ‘cultural property’ vested in plants.
 

Media items

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This collection contains 18 media items.

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Media items

Bryony Morgan : Transforming International Trade in Wild Plant Ingredients: Experiences with the FairWild Standard


   4 views

Bryony Morgan (Traffic): Transforming International Trade in Wild Plant Ingredients: Experiences with the FairWild Standard

Collection: People and Plants

Institution: Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities

Created: Mon 21 Jul 2014


Dame Marilyn Strathern : Closing Comments


   18 views

Dame Marilyn Strathern (Social Anthropology, Cambridge)

Collection: People and Plants

Institution: Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities

Created: Mon 21 Jul 2014


Elsa Rengifo and Françoise Barbira Freedman : Registers of Plant Knowledge in Peruvian Amazonia after the Nagoya...


   2 views

Elsa Rengifo (Peruvian Institute of Amazonian Research) and Françoise Barbira Freedman (Social Anthropology, Cambridge) in collaboration with Stephen Hugh-Jones (Social...

Collection: People and Plants

Institution: Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities

Created: Mon 21 Jul 2014


Gary Martin : Medicinal herb flows, plant conservation and local livelihoods in Morocco


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Gary Martin (Global Diversity Foundation): Medicinal herb flows, plant conservation and local livelihoods in Morocco

Collection: People and Plants

Institution: Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities

Created: Mon 21 Jul 2014


Jeremy Narby : Intelligence in nature


   19 views

Jeremy Narby (Nouvelle Planète, Switzerland): Intelligence in nature

Collection: People and Plants

Institution: Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities

Created: Mon 21 Jul 2014


Kamal Adhikari : New Flows of Cultural Value around ‘People and Plants’ in Nepal


   6 views

Kamal Adhikari (Nepal and University of Aberdeen): New Flows of Cultural Value around ‘People and Plants’ in Nepal

Collection: People and Plants

Institution: Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities

Created: Mon 21 Jul 2014


Martin Jones : The past and future role of minor cereals


   2 views

Martin Jones (Archaeology, University of Cambridge): The past and future role of
minor cereals

Collection: People and Plants

Institution: Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities

Created: Mon 21 Jul 2014


Martin Kaonga : Ethnobotany in Community-Managed Land Use Systems in Tropical Countries: an A Rocha Perspective


   4 views

Martin Kaonga (A Rocha, Cambridge): Ethnobotany in Community-Managed Land Use Systems in Tropical Countries: an A Rocha Perspective

Collection: People and Plants

Institution: Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities

Created: Mon 21 Jul 2014


Rodrigo Camara-Leret : The Traditional Knowledge of Medicinal Plants in Northwest South America is Strongly Localized


   4 views

Rodrigo Camara-Leret (Universidad Autonoma, Madrid): The Traditional Knowledge of Medicinal Plants in Northwest South America is Strongly Localized

Collection: People and Plants

Institution: Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities

Created: Mon 21 Jul 2014


Saskia van Oosterhout : Seeds as Embodied Heritage: Gender and Conservation in Zimbabwe


   1 view

Saskia van Oosterhout (Cape Town, South Africa): Seeds as Embodied Heritage:
Gender and Conservation in Zimbabwe

Collection: People and Plants

Institution: Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities

Created: Mon 21 Jul 2014


Seona Anderson : Cultural Values in Plant Conservation – the Corncockle Approach


   4 views

Seona Anderson (Plant Life): Cultural Values in Plant Conservation – the Corncockle Approach

Collection: People and Plants

Institution: Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities

Created: Mon 21 Jul 2014


Sir David Baulcombe and Sir Ghillean Prance : Opening Address and The Guaraní of Misiones, Argentina, their plants and...


   2 views

Conference Opening Address

Sir David Baulcombe (Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge): Botany, Ethonobotany, Plant Sciences

Keynote

Sir Ghillean Prance (Former...

Collection: People and Plants

Institution: Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities

Created: Mon 21 Jul 2014


Steven Bentley : Buglossoides Arvensis 2005-2014, the development of a new oil crop from a weed species


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Steven Bentley (National Institute of Agricultural Botany, University of Cambridge): Buglossoides Arvensis 2005-2014, the development of a new oil crop from a weed species

Collection: People and Plants

Institution: Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities

Created: Mon 21 Jul 2014


Tai-Ping Fan : Traditional medicine, memory and neurodegeneration. Cognitive and memory enhancing effects of Polygala...


   3 views

Tai-Ping Fan (Pharmacology, University of Cambridge): Traditional medicine, memory and neurodegeneration. Cognitive and memory enhancing effects of Polygala and other extracts.

Collection: People and Plants

Institution: Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities

Created: Mon 21 Jul 2014


Tim Bayliss Smith : Turmeric, sexuality and gender in the Polynesian Outliers: the changing meanings in Solomon Islands...


   5 views

Tim Bayliss Smith (Geography, Cambridge):Turmeric, sexuality and gender in the
Polynesian Outliers: the changing meanings in Solomon Islands of a potent cosmetic
substance

Collection: People and Plants

Institution: Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities

Created: Mon 21 Jul 2014


Tony Crook : Life itself in the Pacific: unbounded forms of life, relational life forms


   4 views

Tony Crook (University of St Andrews): Life itself in the Pacific: unbounded forms of life, relational life forms

Collection: People and Plants

Institution: Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities

Created: Mon 21 Jul 2014


Virginia Nazarea : A Matter of Place: In- and Trans- situ Biodiversity Conservation


   5 views

Virginia Nazarea (University of Georgia): A Matter of Place: In- and Trans- situ Biodiversity Conservation

Collection: People and Plants

Institution: Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities

Created: Mon 21 Jul 2014


William Millken : The Ebb and Flow of Plant Resources and Knowledge: Contemporary and Historical Perspectives from Kew


   5 views

William Millken (Kew Gardens): The Ebb and Flow of Plant Resources and Knowledge: Contemporary and Historical Perspectives from Kew

Collection: People and Plants

Institution: Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities

Created: Mon 21 Jul 2014