Brett L. WalkerMontana State University, Bozeman 

Monday, March 10, 2014 | 3:00–4:30p | Tokioka Room (Moore 319)

Bio-cultural Diversity in the Anthropocene

The linking of cultural identities and knowledge creation to local environments has roots in Western science. Alexander von Humboldt, in his “Essay on the Geography of Plants” (1807), developed such connections, as did the geographer Ellen Semple in her The Influences of Geographic Environment (1911) and the philosopher Watsuji Tetsurô in his Fûdo (On Climate). For better or worse, scholars have tied the fate of cultural development to environmental and geographic contexts. The advent of the Anthropocene Epoch, however, with its bio-stratigraphic homogenization of Earth’s natural environments, threatens this bio-cultural diversity. In this lecture, I look at case studies from my own research regarding the ways that industrial homogeneity is destroying cultural and biological diversity, including in the micro-biome of our own bodies. Today, we risk undermining the bio-cultural diversity that supports the seeds of future human potential and accomplishments.


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