The world humans had known for millennia changed radically after agriculture. Much of the history of agricultural societies and the environments in which they are embedded could be viewed as the struggle to take advantage of the benefits of agriculture while contending with the vulnerabilities that are inherent in agricultural systems. This research project examines the wider history of knowledge for agriculture and place through the story of the Darling and Macquarie River country after European agriculture first came to the semi-arid plains of inland Australia. Its early focus is on how nineteenth century ideas about biology, race and population – at once productive and generative, but often dark and unstable – played a role in shaping modern agriculture.
Reseacher: Cameron Muir.