Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
P132: Crops losses: historicizing plant pests and climate events
Friday, 20/Jun/2025

Session Chair: Ana Isabel Queiroz Queiroz;
Session Chair: Inês Gomes;
Session Chair: Inês Amorim;

Session Abstract

Harmful natural events, such as insects’ outbreaks, plant diseases or storms, floods and droughts, are responsible for losses in crops, with impacts on agrarian economies. The most severe situations we know from the past have led to social crises, famines, unemployment, migrations, conflicts, etc.

Crop losses received great attention from the Economic History, but their cultural and environmental facets have not been subject to great debate. Recent research, though, have been studying new dimensions of the problem, for instance, reconstructing the spatio-temporal distribution of harmful natural events, the perception of their impacts by the affected populations, authorities and research and teaching institutions dedicated to agriculture, as well as the individual and collective responses at private and public level. Local, regional and national policies to control or mitigate damages are also under analysis.

Historicizing natural phenomena raises broad methodological challenges. To understand how societies shape the environment and how they are shaped by it, research requires integration of a complex number of natural and cultural variables. These diverse variables are documented in several types of sources, which have to be analysed with different tools and interpreted in an interdisciplinary context. Information has to be ‘transformed’ into comparable data that can be analysed. In addition, guidelines for European research is calling for a “three Os” practice (that is, open innovation, open science, open to the world), which force people and units to put research in a new paradigm.

This panel invites researchers that studied harmful natural events and their impacts on rural societies, for sharing and discussing their methodological experience and outcomes. Comparative studies or case-studies are welcome.

No contributions were assigned to this session.

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