A Political Ecology of Za’atar

June 15, 2016

Brian Boyd

The 2016 issue of Environment and Society focuses on “Plants and Peoples.” In some of the humanities and social sciences, human-plant studies, like those of human-animal relations, are perhaps in danger of being subsumed by the broader rubric of a multispecies approach to ecological assemblages. Perhaps this will be a fruitful path to take, but it may also betray a lack of intellectual commitment to what are after all quite recent engagements with, and foregrounding of, human-nonhuman relations and political conditions. Maybe we shouldn’t let the Questions of the Animal and the Plant escape our attention quite yet, before we have satisfactorily traced their complex meanderings through our sociopolitical ecologies. There are still radical stories to tell before they escape, or are rendered into the all-encompassing Gaia of a multispecies approach. As a contribution to this storytelling, here is some “plant-thinking” in the context of recent ecological developments in Palestine/Israel.

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The FoxNewsization of GMOs

April 29, 2015

Glenn Davis Stone

When I first began to look at the issue of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) several years ago, my interest was in the larger contexts of their development and spread, as well as their impacts on the Global South. But the developments in the Global South are very much a part of the GMO story back home, where various versions of them are deployed in the GMO wars. The wars, rather than being settled, have only intensified over time. As I write this, a Monsanto-funded Missouri senator is grilling a prominent Ivy League physician about statements he made on the radio about the safety of GM foods. It’s interesting to turn my attention back to my own country to see how GMO issues are being used.

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