May 11, Associate Professor Andrew S. Mathews from University California Santa Cruz will lead the weekly seminar for the Centre's research group "Arctic Domestication in the era of the Anthropocene".


Domestication, once thought of as an inevitable and one-way process of increasing human control over plants and animals, has come to be seen as uncertain, partial, and given to escapes, reversals, and transformations. Plants, animals and people are transformed through their relations with each other, sometimes entering closer and denser entanglements, and at other times escaping.

Using natural history and historical ecological methods, I reconstruct the disintegration of chestnut cultivation in forests near Lucca, Italy. Comparing incomplete descriptions of anthropologists, historians, and ecological modelers, I suggest that we can think of the Anthropocene as having multiple beginnings and story lines, and that we can cultivate a dramatic form of attention which sustains multiple, competing stories of social and ecological change.