Academic Commons

Theses Doctoral

Statecraft and Insect Oeconomies in the Global French Enlightenment (1670-1815)

Stockland, Pierre-Etienne

Naturalists, state administrators and farmers in France and its colonies developed a myriad set of techniques over the course of the long eighteenth century to manage the circulation of useful and harmful insects. The development of normative protocols for classifying, depicting and observing insects provided a set of common tools and techniques for identifying and tracking useful and harmful insects across great distances. Administrative techniques for containing the movement of harmful insects such as quarantine, grain processing and fumigation developed at the intersection of science and statecraft, through the collaborative efforts of diplomats, state administrators, naturalists and chemical practitioners. The introduction of insectivorous animals into French colonies besieged by harmful insects was envisioned as strategy for restoring providential balance within environments suffering from human-induced disequilibria. Naturalists, administrators, and agricultural improvers also collaborated in projects to maximize the production of useful substances secreted by insects, namely silk, dyes and medicines. A study of these scientific and administrative techniques will shed light on how scientists, administrators and lay practitioners in the French Enlightenment came to assess and manage the risks and opportunities afforded by the related processes of commercial and ecological globalization.

Geographic Areas

Files

  • thumnail for Stockland_columbia_0054D_14332.pdf Stockland_columbia_0054D_14332.pdf application/pdf 4.15 MB Download File

More Information

Academic Units
History
Thesis Advisors
Smith, Pamela H.
Degree
Ph.D., Columbia University
Academic Commons provides global access to research and scholarship produced at Columbia University, Barnard College, Teachers College, Union Theological Seminary and Jewish Theological Seminary. Academic Commons is managed by the Columbia University Libraries.