Daily Archives: February 10, 2021

GRAIN | Harvard’s billion-dollar farmland fiasco

One of the world’s major buyers of farmland is under fire for their involvement in land conflicts, environmental destruction and risky investments. A new report by GRAIN and Rede Social de Justiça e Direitos Humanos presents, for the first time, a comprehensive analysis of Harvard University’s controversial investments in global farmland.

…(read more).


GRAIN | The global farmland grab by pension funds needs to stop

Money from pension funds has fuelled the financial sector’s massive move into farmland investing over the past decade. The number of pension funds involved in farmland investment and the amount of money they are deploying into it is increasing, under the radar. This unprecedented take-over of farmland by financial companies has major implications for rural communities and food systems, and must be challenged. Leaving it to the companies to police themselves with their own voluntary guidelines is a recipe for disaster.

…(read more)


GRAIN | The Belt and Road Initiative: Chinese agribusiness going global

China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is the largest infrastructure project ever embarked upon in world history. Launched in 2013 to better connect China with the rest of the world, the project currently involves some 90 countries across Asia, Europe and Africa, and is expected to cost more than US$1 trillion. BRI will also increase the concentration of global food production and distribution, potentially pushing small-scale farmers, fisherfolk, forest peoples and rural communities further to the margins. This report looks at some of the key issues that are beginning to emerge from BRI-related projects in different Asian and African countries. These revolve around debt and threats to national sovereignty, land grabbing, displacement, human rights abuses in conflict zones, environmental impacts, public health concerns and labour violations.

…(read more).

The Farm as Ecosystem: Jerry Brunetti

Nature is complex, elegant, and infinite in its wisdom. Farmers who are truly successful learn nature’s many facets and her intricate dance; they crack the code of how to honor and feed this boundless natural system while coaxing the production needed for the survival of a modern farm. Natural product formulator and farm consultant Jerry Brunetti wraps together a lifetime of learning and his uncanny observations in this fascinating volume on the interconnected dynamics in place on a farm — the farm’s geology, biology, and diversity of life forms. Learn to look at — and manage — your farm very differently through gaining a deeper understanding of the complementary roles of all facets of your farm. With his unique perspective the author takes readers on a journey through a farming ecosystem describing it with principles, stories, facts and science . . . and dotted throughout with real-world advice. This is a book which will be enjoyable to browse while rich enough to want to have a highlighter in hand.

Topics covered include:

-The physical, chemical and biological aspects of soil
-Understanding compost and compost tea
-Working with foliar nutrition
-The roles of trace elements in farming
-Water and your farm
-Cover cropping systems . . . and more.

The book eco-farmers everywhere have been waiting for is here.

  • Publisher : Acres USA; 2nd edition (February 1, 2014)
  • Language : English
  • Paperback : 352 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1601730411
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1601730411
  • Item Weight : 1.98 ounces
  • Dimensions : 5.75 x 0.75 x 8.75 inches

Marvelous Possessions: The Wonder of the New World: Stephen Greenblatt

Marvelous Possessions is a study of the ways in which Europeans of the late Middle Ages and the early modern period represented non-European peoples and took possession of their lands, in particular the New World.

In a series of innovative readings of travel narratives, judicial documents, and official reports, Stephen Greenblatt shows that the experience of the marvelous, central to both art and philosophy, was cunningly yoked by Columbus and others to the service of colonial appropriation. He argues that the traditional symbolic actions and legal rituals through which European sovereignty was asserted were strained to the breaking point by the unprecedented nature of the discovery of the New World. But the book also shows that the experience of the marvelous is not necessarily an agent of empire: in writers as different as Herodotus, Jean de Léry, and Montaigne—and notably in Mandeville’s Travels, the most popular travel book of the Middle Ages—wonder is a sign of a remarkably tolerant recognition of cultural difference.

Marvelous Possession is not only a collection of the odd and exotic through which Stephen Greenblatt powerfully conveys a sense of the marvelous, but also a highly original extension of his thinking on a subject that has occupied him throughout his career. The book reaches back to the ancient Greeks and forward to the present to ask how it is possible, in a time of disorientation, hatred of the other, and possessiveness, to keep the capacity for wonder from being poisoned?

“A marvellous book. It is also a compelling and a powerful one. Nothing so original has ever been written on European responses to ‘The wonder of the New World.'”—Anthony Pagden, Times Literary Supplement

“By far the most intellectually gripping and penetrating discussion of the relationship between intruders and natives is provided by Stephen Greenblatt’s Marvelous Possessions.”—Simon Schama, The New Republic

“For the most engaging and illuminating perspective of all, read Marvelous Possessions.”—Laura Shapiro, Newsweek

  • Publisher : University of Chicago Press; 1st edition (October 15, 1992)
  • Language : English
  • Paperback : 224 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0226306526
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0226306520
  • Item Weight : 12.9 ounces
  • Dimensions : 9.05 x 6.06 x 0.69 inches

New World Encounters | Stephen Greenblatt

The discovery of the Indies, wrote Francisco López de Gómara in 1552, was “the greatest event since the creation of the world, excepting the Incarnation and Death of Him who created it.” Five centuries have not diminished either the overwhelming importance or the strangeness of the early encounter between Europeans and American peoples. This collection of essays, encompassing history, literary criticism, art history, and anthropology, offers a fresh and innovative approach to the momentous encounter.

From the Inside Flap

“Refreshing and gratifying. . . . The epics of the Pueblos’ resistance, the Aztec poetry before and after the conquest, and the ritual of toqui oncoy show the complexity of the means for survival developed throughout the Americas, from New Mexico to the Andes.”–Jaime Concha, University of California, San Diego

“Many of these essays form the cutting edge of scholarship on the expansion of Europe and its cultural consequences. Visual evidence, much of it unfamiliar, is deftly integrated into the textual analysis. . . . This work is so solid, so elegantly presented, and at the same time so innovative that the book should attract considerable attention and remain in use for a long time.”–Anthony Grafton, author of Defenders of the Text

From the Back Cover

“Refreshing and gratifying. . . . The epics of the Pueblos’ resistance, the Aztec poetry before and after the conquest, and the ritual of toqui oncoy show the complexity of the means for survival developed throughout the Americas, from New Mexico to the Andes.”―Jaime Concha, University of California, San Diego

“Many of these essays form the cutting edge of scholarship on the expansion of Europe and its cultural consequences. Visual evidence, much of it unfamiliar, is deftly integrated into the textual analysis. . . . This work is so solid, so elegantly presented, and at the same time so innovative that the book should attract considerable attention and remain in use for a long time.”―Anthony Grafton, author of Defenders of the Text

About the Author

Stephen Greenblatt is The Class of 1932 Professor of English Literature at the University of California, Berkeley. Two of his publications, Shakespearean Negotiations: The Circulation of Social Energy in Renaissance England and Representing the English Renaissance (of which he is the editor) are available in paperback from California. His most recent book is Marvelous Possessions: The Wonder of the New World (1991).

  • Publisher : University of California Press; First edition (March 12, 1993)
  • Language : English
  • Paperback : 344 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0520080211
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0520080218
  • Item Weight : 1.4 pounds
  • Dimensions : 7 x 0.9 x 10 inches

Oxford and Empire: Voyages and Voyagers

TORCH | The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities

Chair: Ankhi Mukherjee

Nandini Das and Emily Stevenson, ‘Hakluyt and Empire’

Kaori Nagai, ‘Henry Nottidge Moseley and the Natural History Collection’

Claire Chambers, ‘Researching in Nashawy, at Large in Oxford: Amitav Ghosh, Anthropology, and Empire’

The relationship between Oxford and Empire has recently been the subject of considerable attention, both within and outside the institution, and the intersecting areas of travel and translation are ones in which Oxford has played a particularly prominent role. The University of Oxford was a leading institution for the teaching of Orientalism and Oriental languages, and the training of imperial administrators. It was also instrumental in the development of anthropology as an academic discipline. This close relationship between Oxford and Empire is embodied in the many prominent translators and travellers who have studied and worked here, including William Jones, Edwin Arnold, Max Müller, T.E. Lawrence, Gertrude Bell, and Amitav Ghosh.

This series will bring together researchers in Oxford and elsewhere to foster interdisciplinary communication and a more consolidated examination of Oxford’s imperial legacies. It will therefore include a diversity of scholars and students who are working in this area in different disciplines and fields.

Nandini Das is Professor of Early Modern Literature and Culture at the University of Oxford. She works on Renaissance literature and cultural history, with special emphasis on travel and cross-cultural encounters, and issues of migration and belonging. She has edited and written on sixteenth and early seventeenth century romance and prose fiction in Robert Greene’s Planetomachia (2007), and Renaissance Romance: The Transformation of English Prose Fiction, 1570-1620 (2011), among others, and published widely on travel and cross-cultural encounter. Most recently, with Tim Youngs, she co-edited The Cambridge History of Travel Writing (2019), which covers global Anglophone and non-Anglophone travel writing from antiquity to the internet. She is volume editor of Elizabethan Levant Trade and South Asia in the forthcoming edition of Richard Hakluyt’s The Principal Navigations, to be published by Oxford University Press, and project director for ‘Travel, Transculturality and Identity in Early Modern England’ (TIDE), funded by the European Research Council. She regularly presents television and radio programmes on topics related to her research

Emily Stevenson is a doctoral candidate at the University of Oxford. Her research focuses on reconstructing the networks, both textual and social, which surrounded late sixteenth century English travel writers. Her doctoral work focuses particularly on Richard Hakluyt, the editor of both editions of The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques and Discoveries of the English Nation, a major source for the history of Elizabethan travel and narratives of early English empire. She is also a member of TIDE (Travel, Transculturality and Identity in England c.1550-1700), an ERC funded project based at the University of Oxford.

Kaori Nagai is a Lecturer in Victorian Literature at the University of Kent. She specialises in colonial discourses of the 19th and early 20th centuries, and her recent research focuses on the intersections between animal studies and postcolonial studies. She is the author of two monographs: Empire of Analogies: Kipling, India and Ireland (2006), and more recently, Imperial Beast Fables: Animals, Cosmopolitanism, and the British Empire (2020). She has also edited, with an introduction and notes, Kipling’s Plain Tales from the Hills and the Jungle Books for Penguin Classics, and co-edited Kipling and Beyond: Patriotism, Globalisation and Postcolonialism (2010). She is a founding member of the Kent Animal Humanities Network, and edited a collection of essays entitled Cosmopolitan Animals (2015, chief editor) with five animal studies colleagues at Kent.

Claire Chambers is Professor of Global Literature at the University of York. She is the author of British Muslim Fictions (2011), Britain Through Muslim Eyes (2015), and Making Sense of Contemporary British Muslim Novels (2019). She has also published a collection of her essays entitled Rivers of Ink (2017). Finally, she co-edited Imagining Muslims in South Asia and the Diaspora (2015) and A Match Made in Heaven (2020), edited Desi Delicacies: Food Writing from Muslim South Asia (2021; forthcoming) and co-authored Storying Relationships: Young British Muslims Speak and Write about Sex and Love (2021; forthcoming). Not only is she known for her writing on literary representations of Muslims in Britain and South Asia, but also for her work on the Bengali writer Amitav Ghosh. She has published widely on Ghosh’s writing in such journals as Postcolonial Text, ARIEL, and Wasafiri. Her research has been supported by funding from HEFCE, the British Academy, the Leverhulme Trust, and the AHRC. Claire is a member of the Ro