A bold redefinition of historical inquiry based on the “cropscape”—the people, creatures, technologies, ideas, and places that surround a crop
Human efforts to move crops from one place to another have been a key driving force in history. Crops have been on the move for millennia, from wildlands into fields, from wetlands to dry zones, from one imperial colony to another. This book is a bold but approachable attempt to redefine historical inquiry based on the “cropscape”: the assemblage of people, places, creatures, technologies, and other elements that form around a crop.
The cropscape is a method of reconnecting the global with the local, the longue durée with microhistory, and people, plants, and places with abstract concepts such as tastes, ideas, skills, politics, and economic forces. Through investigating a range of contrasting cropscapes spanning millennia and the globe, the authors break open traditional historical structures of period, geography, and direction to glean insight into previously invisible actors and forces.