Organised by Laurent Brassart (Université de Lille/ IRhIS 8529) and Charles-François Mathis (Université Paris 1 / IHMC)
The workshop will take place in the MFO salon.
You can access it online too: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/84555525806?pwd=WFJtTjBuVTZ2WDFpcUxuWFJxbzVYUT09 Passcode: 712396
9h-9h15 : Welcome
9h15-9h30 : Introduction (Laurent Brassart and Charles-François Mathis)
09h30-9h50 : John Lidwell-Durnin (U. Exeter) Too Many Birds: managing swarms, population booms, and excess
Nature functions like an economy-- or so believed natural philosophers, historians, and political writers in the eighteenth century. Through competition and consumption, different populations kept each other in check-- and each species performed a contributing and positive role to the balance and abundance of nature. The only difficulty was that this balance was regularly upset by population explosions-- either through human cultivation or natural events. This paper develops a wider perspective on how agriculture in the eighteenth century dealt with the threat posed by various pests and diseases.
09h50-10h10 : Emilie-Anne Pépy (U. Savoie/Mont-Blanc), "Repairing nature? The reforestation of the forests of the kingdom of France in the 18th century"/ Réparer la nature ? Le reboisement des forêts du royaume de France au XVIIIe siècle."
La communication s'intéressera aux opérations de reboisement dans les espaces forestiers du royaume de France (métropole et colonies) en prenant en compte les acteurs, leurs pratiques, et leurs motivations, afin d'introduire une réflexion sur les conceptions des contemporains en matière de conservation et de restauration.
The talk will look at reforestation operations in the forest areas of the kingdom of France ( both metropolitan France and the colonies), taking into account the actors, their practices, and their motivations, in order to introduce a reflective approach to the ideas of conservation and restoration.
10h10-10h30 : Discussion
10h30-11h00 : Coffee break
11h-11h20 : Michael Drolet (U.Oxford, Worcester college), Un fleuve d’engrais liquide » ou la vraie loi de la Nature. Pierre Leroux, the circulus, and nature's agricultural revolution.'
This paper will examine how Pierre Leroux (1797-1871) challenged a model of agriculture that was to emerge from developments in organic and inorganic chemistry from the 1830s onward. Against this industrialised model of agriculture, which saw agriculture as a form of extractive industry where soil fertility was seen as a process of expenditure and repair, Leroux advanced a circular system -- what he called le circulus -- of agriculture, in which humans returned to the soil that which they took from it. Leroux, who draw on an extensive body of scientific literature and knowledge of traditional practices saw the use of human excrement in agriculture as a way to feed a nation's population at the same time as enhance soil fertility, soli diversity, and crop yields.
11h20-11h40 : Arnaud Page (Université Paris Sorbonne), “Microbes to the rescue”: Nitrogen, bacteria and legumes in Britain, 1898-1914.
Triggered by William Crookes’ 1898 Presidential Address to the British Association, a great “nitrogen scare” developed in Britain and elsewhere between the end of the nineteenth century and the First World War. It was eventually resolved, though not without many adverse environmental effects, by the discovery of the Haber-Bosch process which allowed humanity to harness almost unlimited amounts of nitrogen to fertilize its crops. While this period has been generally pictured as having simply “waited” for the development of industrial fertilizers, this paper intends to show that in fact many alternative proposals were devised to solve the nitrogen question. It will point in particular to the high hopes pinned on bacteria and legumes to maintain soil fertility, before these alternative views and practices were relegated to the side-lines by the outbreak of the First World War.
11h40- 12h : Discussion
12h00-13h30 : Lunch break
13h30-13h50 : Laurent Herment (CRH/EHESS, Paris), Indigenous crops and plantation crops. The case of cassava in Madagascar 1900-1940/ Cultures indigènes et cultures de plantations. Le cas du manioc à Madagascar 1900-1940
A partir de 1905/1908, le manioc est perçu à Madagascar comme une culture d’exportation. Dès lors se pose la question du mode de culture : soit on le cultive en plantation, soit, on favorise le développement des cultures indigènes en s’appuyant sur l’importance de cette plante dans les cultures vivrières.
From 1905/1908, cassava was seen as an export crop in Madagascar. From then on, the question arose as to how it should be grown: either it should be grown on plantations, or the development of indigenous crops should be encouraged, based on the importance of this plant in food crops.
13h50-14h10 : Pascal Marty (MFO) : Biodiversity conservation and understanding past agro-pastoral practices : the challenge of setting a reference point for landscape management
Conserving or restoring biodiversity often involve the idea of returning to a past state of the landscape or natural habitats. Can knowledge of past agro-pastoral practices help to set a reference point for restoration objectives? In this presentation, we analyse the challenges of identifying good practice from the past for managing and restoring biodiversity.
14h10-14h30 : Discussion