Please join us on Thursday, January 30th, at 4:10 p.m. in the Carnegie Building for our second Faculty Colloquium of this semester.
Presenter: Cecily McCaffrey, Associate Professor of History
Title: “Reimagining the Old Forests of Central China: From History to Botany and Back Again.”
Abstract: In the 18th century, Qing dynasty elites depicted the old forests (laolin 老林) of central China as troublesome places, a refuge of rebels and bandits. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, British and American “plant hunters” ventured into these same spaces searching for specimens of endemic species. Today the mountainous region hosts national forests and nature parks: the Shennongjia National Nature Reserve is a UNESCO World Heritage Centre of biodiversity. This paper attempts to forge a composite image of the old forests by overlapping and layering observations from a variety of sources including local histories, travel writing, photographs, and reports of botanical expeditions. The objectives of this project are two-fold: first, to use latter-day sources to inform an understanding of place in historical terms; second, to consider the ways in which historical constructions of place intersect with contemporary formulations.
Students are welcome and coffee and treats will be provided. We look forward to seeing you there.
Note: There will also be a special TGIF reception following the lecture that will be open to faculty from all schools. This is the first TGIF event this semester with Colloquium speakers from across the University. These opportunities for cross-university gathering and conversation are sponsored by the Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President.
Bill Kelm and Stephen Patterson
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators