Jared Farmer studies the overlapping historical dimensions of landscape, environment, technology, science, religion, and culture, with regional expertise in the American West. In his Academy projec...
Anna-Maria Kellen Lecture
Monuments of Nature from Berlin to the Americas
In global English and international governance, the “protected area” encompasses many categories and scales, from large national parks characteristic of the United States to small Naturdenkmäler (natural monuments) characteristic of Germany. In this talk, Jared Farmer approaches the global history of conservation through monumental trees. His lecture follows Alexander von Humboldt to the Spanish Empire and returns to Berlin in the era before World War I. Small-scale conservation of megaflora is no more free of imperial histories than large-scale conservation of megafauna. Nonetheless, the root idea of caring for big old trees—local landmarks that connect humans to more-than-human time scales—seems newly beneficial in a time of climate change.