Moving Crops and the Scale of History

Moving Crops and the Scale of History

Francesca Bray, Dagmar Schäfer, John-Bosco Lourdusamy, Tiago Saraiva, Barbara Hahn

Other involved Scholars: 

postcard_of_mt_fuji_with_cropfields.jpg

Postcard of Mount Fuji with Cropfields.

Moving Crops is a collaborative research project in the Scale and Scope Working Group. This project aims to bring together scholars working at the intersection of history of science, history of commodities, and history of food to experiment with space and time scales in historical writing. The project challenges its participants to produce narratives of crops on the move through areas of the globe beyond the West and crossing different time periods. The enlargement of historical scale reveals important size-scale effects with crops originally cultivated and processed small-scale converted into large-scale enterprises. Of particular interest is the planning processes involving circulation of knowledge, artefacts, and skills necessary to move crops around. More than aiming at exhaustive coverage, we are interested in tinkering with unexplored historical scales in order to transcend our disciplinary constraints.