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From Collection to Cultivation




How has the study of agriculture come to indicate a scientific field outside of the humanities? 

This is a significant question because what the future holds for our species, and all other species on the planet, will largely depend on how food is produced and distributed. By asking questions at the crossroads of agricultural history, environmental anthropology, and law, the study of the 20th century provides late-breaking lessons about where we go from here. 

Tad Brown holds a PhD in Anthropology. He spent years stomping back-and-forth between the farm plats and library stacks. He then studied at The University of Queensland as a member of an Australian Research Council Laureate Project looking at intellectual property and food security. His research engages with the social history of agricultural diversity, including; how experimental studies determine the identity of crop varieties, how people recognize livestock breeds in village settings, and how legal domains interact with crop choices. Tad is writing a book on the peanut industry. 

For more on Tad's research project, 'Peanut Traces: Crop Collections, Industrial Processing, and Intellectual Property in the 20th Century,' visit his research page here.