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Filmed on Tuesday November 14, 02023
Jared Farmer is a geohumanist and place-based historian. Farmer is a Professor of History at Penn, studying landscapes and environments from the hyperlocal to the planetary, with emphasis on the nineteenth century in the American West. His book include Trees in Paradise: A California History (02013), and Elderflora: A Modern History of Ancient Trees (02022).
Big trees, old trees, and especially big old trees have always been objects of reverence. From Athena’s sacred olive on the Acropolis to the unmistakable ginkgo leaf prevalent in Japanese art and fashion during the Edo period, our profound admiration for slow plants spans time and place as well as cultures and religions. At the same time, the utilization and indeed the desecration of ancient trees is a common feature of history. In the modern period, the American West, more than any other region, witnessed contradictory efforts to destroy and protect ancient conifers. Historian Jared Farmer reflects on our long-term relationships with long-lived trees, and considers the future of oldness on a rapidly changing planet.
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Condensed ideas about long-term thinking summarized by Stewart Brand
(with Kevin Kelly, Alexander Rose and Paul Saffo) and a foreword by Brian Eno.
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