“The Forgotten Canopy: Ecology, Ephemeral Architecture, and Imperialism in the Circum-Caribbean and Trans-Atlantic World”
Center for 17th- and 18th-Century Studies and William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, University of California, Los Angeles
The Core Program will convene scholars around the topics of “Ecology,” “Ephemeral Architecture,” and “Imperialism” in the early modern (16th–19th- century) world. The circum-Caribbean is our starting point, specifically we use this term to refer to the deep connections between the peoples and places of the Caribbean and South America, along with parts of North America. Due to national politics, language barriers, and scholarly divisions that have their roots in the European colonization of the Americas, the long and complex history of exchange among these regions and peoples have been greatly understudied. In truth, this history of entanglement across water and land stretches back millennia, resulting in a rich and diverse built environment that is deeply tied to ecological change. This dynamic did not end with the invasion of 1492, but rather continued to expand and accelerate when people, plants, and empires came from across the Atlantic. Using ephemeral architecture, in particular the complex and exquisite creation of thatch roofs as the leading thread in these tapestries of exchange, this series of conferences highlights the profound ways in which environmental practices, botanical knowledge, technological development, architectural innovation, and creative expression were deeply tied across these distinct regions and peoples, and impacted by imperial actions. This conference series brings an unusually diverse number of disciplines together in order to unpack these complex dynamics, which challenge how we understand the built environment, the early modern Atlantic world, and the intersections between the local and the global.
The theme-based resident fellowship program, established with the support of the Ahmanson Foundation and the J. Paul Getty Trust, is designed to promote the participation of junior scholars in the Center’s yearlong core program. Awards are for three consecutive quarters in residence at the Clark. Scholars must have received their doctorates in the last six years (2016–2022), and their research should pertain to the announced theme. Fellows are expected to make a substantive contribution to the Center’s workshops and seminars.
Further details and a link to our online application can be found on our website: http://www.1718.ucla.edu/research/postdoctoral/
The deadline for fellowship applications for the 2021–2022 year is February 1, 2021.
An extended description of the program is available here: http://www.1718.ucla.edu/core/