研究会・講演会など

【Colloquium】Beetles, Flies, and Empires of Sugar

講 師 Weijia Vicky Shen   (Doctoral student at Department of History, University of Pittsburgh
日 時 2022年12月8日(木)17:30-19:00   
場 所 アメリカ・カナダ研究所  (上智大学中央図書館7階721A号室)
ZOOM利用のハイブリッドにて開催
対 象 大学院生・研究者
使用言語 英語
参加費 無料
When the Lahaina cane first arrived on the island of Maui in the spring of 1854, commercial sugar cultivation was still in its nascent days in the Hawaiian Islands. Within a few decades of the arrival of this Tahitian sugarcane, however, Hawai’i emerged as a major sugar producer in the world along with Java, the Caribbean, and European continental beet growers. The fame of the Lahaina and its success in Hawai’i saw this sugarcane emerge to be one of the most sought-after canes in plantations in the Asia-Pacific region. But unbeknownst to the planters in Hawai’i, the Lahaina also brought with it one of the most destructive sugarcane pests to the islands. Hidden within cane stalks, the  Sphenophorus obscurus, a small weevil almost invisible to the human eye, made its way from French Polynesia to the Hawaiian Islands, and from there, to Fiji, Australia, the Ogasawara Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands*. This presentation tells a multispecies history of sugarcane, insects, and humans in the making of the modern sugar industry in the early 20th century. Through the transpacific journeys of the Lahaina sugarcane, the Spenophorus obscurus (commonly known as the Hawaiian sugarcane borer), and the entomologists on both sides of the Pacific as they sought to control the damage caused by the borer, this presentation highlights the ecological entanglements between the various islands, empires, and ecosystems in the making of the global commodity.