Apr 27 Constructing Mediterranean Plant Ecology

The Mediterranean Collaborative Presents
"Between Sand and Sea: Constructing Mediterranean Plant Ecology"

Diana Davis
History and Geography, University of California-Davis

Friday, April 27th---4 pm---Heller Hall 1210

The iconic landscapes of the Mediterranean Basin have long stimulated the imaginations of artists, writers, and scientists. They have primarily been portrayed as degraded, an interpretation absorbed into the developing discipline of ecology. The core concepts of Mediterranean vegetation ecology, though, are based largely on the work of Louis Emberger, a French colonial botanist. This paper analyzes Emberger's problematic approach and its use as the foundation of a great deal of scientific work on the ecology of the Basin. It concludes that Mediterranean vegetation ecology would benefit from "knowledge decolonization" that demonstrates the complex messiness of knowledge politics, material landscape change and social dynamics together in order to avoid the ecologically and socially problematic outcomes that have been common in the Basin for a century.

Cosponsored by the African Studies Initiative and the History Department
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