13 May 2022 16:00 - 17:30 Online


We are excited to be joined by Helen Anne Curry (HPS, Cambridge) to celebrate the publication of Endangered Maize: Industrial Agriculture and the Crisis of Extinction, from the University of California Press.

This event will feature interventions from a broad panel of speakers, and a question and answer session.


  • Deborah Fitzgerald, Professor of the History of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Elizabeth Hoover, Associate Professor, Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, University of California–Berkeley
  • Raf de Bont, Professor of History of Science and Environment, Maastricht University
  • Sadiah Qureshi, Senior Lecturer in Modern History, University of Birmingham
  • Helen Anne Curry, Associate Professor, History & Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge
  • Chaired by: Xan Chacko, Postdoctoral Fellow in Women and Gender Studies, Wellesley College
  • Attendance is free but spaces may be limited, so please email to reserve a space in the Zoom audience.

gloknos is initially funded for 5 years by the European Research Council through a Consolidator Grant awarded to Dr Inanna Hamati-Ataya for her project ARTEFACT (2017-2022). ARTEFACT is funded by the European Research Council under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (ERC grant agreement no. 724451). For information about gloknos or ARTEFACT please contact the administrator in the first instance.

About the Book

Many people worry that we’re losing genetic diversity in the foods we eat. Over the past century, crop varieties standardised for industrial agriculture have increasingly dominated farm fields. Concerned about what this transition means for the future of food, scientists, farmers, and eaters have sought to protect fruits, grains, and vegetables they consider endangered. They have organised high-tech genebanks and heritage seed swaps. They have combed fields for ancient landraces and sought farmers growing Indigenous varieties. Behind this widespread concern for the loss of plant diversity lies another extinction narrative that concerns the survival of farmers themselves, a story that is often obscured by urgent calls to collect and preserve.

Endangered Maize draws on the rich history of corn in Mexico and the United States to uncover this hidden narrative and show how it shaped the conservation strategies adopted by scientists, states, and citizens. Through the contours of efforts to preserve diversity in one of the world’s most important crops, historian Helen Anne Curry reveals how those who sought to protect native, traditional, and heritage crops forged their methods around the expectation that social, political, and economic transformations would eliminate diverse communities and cultures. Ultimately she argues for new understandings of endangerment and alternative strategies to protect and preserve crop diversity.

Find out more via the University of California Press.

Upcoming Events


Tel: +44 1223 766886
Email enquiries@crassh.cam.ac.uk