Anthropology | People & Plants:An Ethnobotany Seminar
E600 | 0408 | Brondizio


Ethnobotany is a century old discipline focusing on past and present,
dynamic and interactive relationship between people and plants; how
plants are used, their social, economic, and cultural values, and
technology to manage plants and vegetation are among important
questions in ethnobotany. The course will combine classes on the
historical and theoretical evolution of the discipline, its
intersection with related fields in anthropology and ecology,
ethnobotany  and intellectual property rights issues, methods and
fieldwork techniques, data analysis, and the application of
ethnobotanical research to development problems such as agriculture
and conservation of biological and cultural resources. Instead of
focusing on particular fields associated with ethnobotany, such as
pharmacology or paleoethnobotany, this course aims to
introduce the student to the "theoretical structure" and baseline
comparative  methodology that underlines the discipline of ethnobotany
as a whole. The pursuit of specific domains is encouraged as part of
the student's assignments (research paper) and interest. Your research
paper shall be used to expand knowledge on a specific region or topic,
while keeping it in context with the broader field of ethnobotany, as
well as anthropology. The course is divided into three main parts:
Part 1. Introduction: History, scope, and theoretical interfaces; Part
2. Intellectual property rights and traditional botanical knowledge
(TBK); Part 3. Multi-level and comparative methods in ethnobotanical
research.