UCA Humanities colloquium to take place tomorrow

UCA’s Humanities and World Cultures Institute tomorrow will present its semi-annual faculty colloquium featuring Dr. Brian Campbell.

Campbell, an assistant professor of anthropology at UCA, will discuss his research project entitled, “Beyond Purity: Ozark Seed Saving Traditions and Agricultural Biodiversity” on Nov. 7 at 3 p.m. in BBA 205. Refreshments will be served.

In the recent past, when many Ozarkers engaged in subsistence farming and foraging, the saving, trading, and passing on of local varieties of cultivars was commonplace. Today, the only locals still engaging in such agrarian traditions are elders in remote Ozark hollers, and they lament the loss of these traditions. Youth only one or two generations removed, who might be interested in preserving agrarian knowledge, have lost connection to their roots. Local NGOs, environmental activists, and advocates of civic agriculture express a great deal of interest, but are non-kin outsiders, excluded in many cases from local knowledge transmission. This research discusses the (re)introduction of “seed swaps” to the Ozark region and their potential for both connecting diverse Ozark inhabitants and conserving and generating agricultural biodiversity, and concludes conclude with a discussion of the need to move practically and conceptually beyond rigid ex situ strategies for agrobiodiversity conservation.

For more information, contact Dr. Jim Deitrick, at deitrick@uca.edu or 501-450-5592.