In this lecture Professor Joy Porter, University of Hull, broadens and lengthens thinking on the ecological, political and cultural impacts of the Mayflower Sailing. It begins by contrasting Greta Thurnberg’s recent transatlantic sailing with that of the Mayflower as a way to think about how much has changed – and stayed the same.
The lecture connects the ecological impacts begun by Mayflower to the 19th Century and the present day; from species introduction, eg of ‘English honey bees’, to the impact of settlement on streams, fish and forests.
It explores evidence about what it felt like to be in that “hideous and desolate wilderness” from both settler and indigenous perspectives, and the approaches to resources this entailed. Fellow travellers with the Mayflower occupants - from bed bugs to human lice - are a special focus. Thirteen new immigrant insects got established by 1800 in what became the United States and they had profound impact on crop production, set the stage for further species introductions and prompted a series of other changes. A much bigger and more immediate problem however, was the soil exhaustion brought about by non-indigenous settlement.
Date: Thursday 19 March
Time: 19:00 – 20:30
Venue: Theatre 2, Roland Levinsky Building
Free admission, booking advised