Lecture: "Exotic Plants, Biological Invasions, and the Medieval Mediterranean as Historical Materials"


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  • Speaker: Paolo Squatriti, University of Michigan
  • Host Department: Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies (EIHS)
  • Date: 09/12/2013
  • Time: 04:00 PM - 06:00 PM

  • Location: 1014 Tisch Hall

  • Description:

    Abstract: Despite their rootedness in specific places, some species of plants in the medieval Mediterranean moved a great deal, increasing their populations and expanding their range. Professor Squatriti's presentation explores this surprising vegetative mobility, and its ecological, as well as geopolitical, causes. Botany, it proposes, is handy historical material, accessible through medieval texts as well as modern archaeological finds. Palaeo-botanical materials enable the construction of less anthropocentric historical narratives.

    Biography: Paolo Squatriti is Professor of History and Italian at the University of Michigan. He studied medieval European history and obtained a doctorate in that subject at the University of Virginia. He taught at several institutions in Italy, Switzerland, and the United States before reaching Ann Arbor. His research focuses on the early Middle Ages and on Italy, particularly on issues of land use, environment, and the perception of nature. His current project is the history of weeds in the Middle Ages.

    Free and open to the public.

    This lecture is part of the Thursday Speaker Series of the Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies. It is made possible by a generous contribution from Kenneth and Frances Aftel Eisenberg.