Gardens and Human Agency in the Anthropocene
This volume discusses gardens as designed landscapes of mediation between nature and culture, embodying different levels of human control over wilderness, defining specific rules for this confrontation and staging different forms of human dominance.
The contributing authors focus on ways of rethinking the garden and its role in contemporary society, using it as a crossover platform between nature, science and technology. Drawing upon their diverse fields of research, including History of Science and Technology, Environmental Studies, Gardens and Landscape Studies, Urban Studies, and Visual and Artistic Studies, the authors unveil various entanglements woven in the past between nature and culture, and probe the potential of alternative epistemologies to escape the predicament of fatalistic dystopias that often revolve around the Anthropocene debate.
This book will be of great interest to those studying environmental and landscape history, the history of science and technology, historical geography, and the environmental humanities.
Introduction 1. Hygiene, Education and Art: Roberto Burle Marx’s 1930s Modern Gardens in Brazil 2. Between the Nuclear Lab and the Backyard: Artificially Enhanced Plant-Breeding and the British Atomic Gardening Movement - 3. Urban utopias and the Anthropocene 4. Shaping Colonial Landscapes in the early 20th century: Urban Planning and Health Policies in Lourenço Marques 5. From Pairidaeza to Planet Garden: The homo-gardinus against Desertification 6. From Homo Faber to Homo Hortensis: Gardening Techniques in the Anthropocene 7. The Distant Gardener: Remote Sensing of the Planetary Potager 8. Resistance in the Garden: Nature and Society in the Anthropocene 9. A New Machine in the Garden? Staging Technospheres in the Anthropocene 10. The Atom in the Garden and the Apocalyptic Fungi: a Tale on a Global Nuclearscape (with artworks and bird-songs) 11. Inhabitants: Image Politics in ongoing Climate Crisis 12. Troubled Gardens: Nature-technoculture binary and the search for a Safe Operating Space in Hayao Miyazaki’s
"Focusing on gardens as spaces of mediation between nature and culture, this book offers a novel perspective on the Anthropocene, the proposed geological epoch shaped by human interventions. It offers a rich survey of historical experiences that may turn out to be invaluable when addressing the challenges of the Anthropocene." — Jürgen Renn, Director at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin, Germany
"Contributors in this interdisciplinary volume show that humble gardens—technology-saturated landscapes that mediate between nature and culture — are an apt site for confronting the seduction of the mighty Anthropocene — and, just possibly, a means readily within our individual and collective human agency to mobilize technology for a better world." — Thomas J. Misa, University of Minnesota, President of SHOT (2019-2020) USA
"By using the garden as a metaphor this series of essays successfully challenges man-induced environmental change, providing a text that should be read not only by this interested in landscapes and gardens, but by anyone interested in the future of life on earth." — Jan Woudstra, Department of Landscape, The University of Sheffield, UK