The Pantropica group, based at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, would like to announce a new virtual seminar series, “The Past, Present, and Future of the Pantropocene.” This series will explore the strengths and limitations of the Anthropocene as a theoretical model for investigating the past and present, with a specific focus on the tropics. This emphasis on the tropics stems from the ERC PANTROPOCENE group’s thesis that the control and exploitation of the tropics—their forests, flora, fauna, minerals, resources, and peoples—plays an outsized role in the Anthropocene. This speaker series invites anthropologists, botanists, historians, archaeologists, and conservationists to focus on objects, peoples, and materials originating from the pan-tropics, but also how their foci affect non-tropical peoples and environments. Put differently, we ask how events in tropical ecotypes have reverberated and continue to reverberate via human connections. Our series begins in the Pacific Ocean, with particular emphasis on the histories and conservation of Oceanian, Australasian, and Philippine environments. Through individual presentations, we hope to offer speakers and listeners alike a novel understanding of both Pacific socio-ecologies over time and the Anthropocene itself.

This series will consist of six presentations given every other week between September and November. Our next presentation will be on September 29th at 9:00 in the morning, CEST (Berlin time). Prof. Angela Schottenhammer (KU Leuven) will be presenting her research on the movement of balsam and cacao from the Americas to China via the Manila Galleons. If you would like to attend this or other talks in our series, please email either Max Findley ([email protected]) or Rebecca Hamilton ([email protected]), and we will provide additional information, including speakers’ abstracts and zoom registration links. You can also see a detailed schedule at our group’s website: https://www.pantrop.com/?page_id=18

Image: Syd Sujuaan at Unsplash