I’m off to Lexington, Kentucky, tomorrow for the Agricultural History Society meeting. This conference has adopted an ‘Animals in Agriculture’ theme and I am very excited to hear about the research being done in this area. I’ll be part of the opening plenary panel ‘Animals and Agricultural History’ on Thursday morning speaking about animal agency, animals as technologies, and how including animals in our histories opens up new lines of inquiry.
My own personal paper contribution will be ‘The Quest for Qiviut’, which examines the attempts to domesticate muskoxen as wool producers. Although the ‘Return of Native Nordic Fauna’ project is focused on animal reintroduction, moving animals around take place with multiple motivations, some of which we might think of as contradictory. The relocation of muskoxen from Greenland in the 20th century encompassed both agriculture/domestication and reintroduction/wild desires. So it’s important for me to look at the domestication story as part of the reintroduction story. Instead of writing about my talk (you can read what I’ve written before about muskox domestication on this blog here, here, and here), I’ll share a visual representation of the talk with you.