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Have I Got Nature for You

Bush House North East Wing, Strand Campus, London

16 Jan dry earth Part of Human Geography seminars

Speaker: Andrew Brooks, Department of Geography, King's College London

Academic geographers have taken a wrecking ball to the idea of nature, yet it persists undiminished as a popular way of thinking about a so-called ecological world outside of human influence. Nowhere is the use of ‘nature’ more ubiquitous than as a noun to classify certain consumer products as natural. But what makes something a natural versus an artificial commodity? How is nature used to get you to buy more stuff?

In this seminar the false dichotomy between products of nature and products of industry will be explored with particular reference to cork bottle stoppers, novelty cork souvenirs and cork forestry, drawing on fieldwork in Portugal as well as other studies of consumption. The presentation will reference the format of a popular comedy quiz show to test the audience’s knowledge of the odd product out and missing words from obscure publications.

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