BOOK LAUNCH: The Tropical Turn: Agricultural Innovation in the Ancient Middle East and the Mediterranean by Dr Sureshkumar Muthukumaran, NUS Department of History
Time: 6 pm – 8 pm
Venue: The Pod, Level 16, National Library Building, 100 Victoria Street, Singapore 188064
Light refreshments will be provided.
|6:00 pm to 6:30 pm||Registration & Refreshments|
|6:30 pm to 6:35 pm||
Welcome Remarks by Dr Qiushi Feng
Associate Professor, NUS Sociology & Anthropology, & FASS Assistant Dean of Research
|6:35 pm to 6:40 pm||
Introduction by Chair
|6:40 pm to 7:25 pm||
Presentation by Dr Sureshkumar Muthukumaran
Lecturer, NUS History
|7:25 pm to 8 pm||Q & A, Moderated by Chair|
|8 pm||Refreshments and End of Event|
About the Book
The Tropical Turn: Agricultural Innovation in the Ancient Middle East and the Mediterranean (University of California Press, 2023)
This book chronicles the earliest histories of familiar tropical Asian crops in the ancient Middle East and the Mediterranean, from rice and cotton to citruses and cucumbers. Drawing on archaeological materials and textual sources in over seven ancient languages, The Tropical Turn unravels the breathtaking anthropogenic peregrinations of these familiar crops from their homelands in tropical and subtropical Asia to the Middle East and the Mediterranean, showing the significant impact South Asia had on the ecologies, dietary habits, and cultural identities of peoples across the ancient world. In the process, Sureshkumar Muthukumaran offers a fresh narrative history of human connectivity across Afro-Eurasia from the Bronze Age to the late centuries BCE. Order the book here.
About the Author
Born and raised in Singapore, Sureshkumar received his BA in history at University College London, a Masters in Greek and Roman History at the University of Oxford and a DPhil in History at University College London. Prior to joining the History department and College of Humanities and Sciences at NUS, Sureshkumar was a postdoctoral fellow and lecturer at Yale-NUS College. His work focuses on pre-modern interactions between peoples in ancient Afro-Eurasia with an eye to examining long-distance connectivity. His work uses, in particular, the anthropogenic mobility of cultivated plants and other biological materials (fauna, diseases etc.) as a roadmap to understand cross-cultural exchanges and the movements of people through space and time.
About the Chair
Dr Cathay Liu is a Senior Lecturer at the NUS Department of Philosophy. Dr Liu received her PhD in Philosophy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2012). She was an undergraduate at the University of California, Irvine (class of 2004) where she also earned an MA in Philosophy (2006).