Conversation: James C. Scott and Cooking Sections
States, Nomads and Agriculture


October 6, 2021 19.00

James C Scott Gorsel 1 Endüstriyel Gübre Kullanılarak ve Kullanılmadan Ürün
<i>Sun'i Gübre Suret-i Tertib Ve Isti'mâli</i>, 1900
Atatürk Kitaplığı, İstanbul
Yield with/without Fertilizer
Sun'i Gübre Suret-i Tertib ve Isti'mâli [Artificial Fertilizer and Prevention Models], 1900
Atatürk Library, İstanbul
SALT Online Youtube Channel

The talk titled States, Nomads and Agriculture brings together political scientist and anthropologist James C. Scott and Cooking Sections (Daniel Fernández Pascual and Alon Schwabe). Organized in parallel with the exhibition CLIMAVORE: Seasons Made to Drift at SALT Beyoğlu, the online conversation is based on one of the five case studies in the exhibition, Exhausted (2021), which examines the idea of fertility in the soil and the human body. The talk will focus on early sedentary societies’ agricultural practices, and explore how such societies developed relations within the state, particularly within the context of agricultural practices.

The Director of the Program of Agrarian Studies at Yale University, Scott is known for his work on political anthropology, rural societies, comparative politics, and anarchism, particularly in South Asia. He is also the author of seminal books such as Domination and the Arts of Resistance: Hidden Transcripts (1992) and Seeing Like a State (1998).

In his latest book, Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States (2017), Scott asks: “Was a grain-based diet and urbanized population the best possible way of living, or was it the most convenient for the rulers?” Focusing on Mesopotamia, the book examines the forces that were effective in the formation of the first political ruling classes, and challenges anthropological discourses that portray the development of states as a civilizing process, turning this mainstream historical narrative upside down.

The conversation between Cooking Sections and James C. Scott will focus on the political and economic aspects of sedentism and nomadism within the context of Exhausted, guided by Scott’s book Against the Grain.

The online program will be conducted in English and broadcast on the SALT Online YouTube channel, open to all.

The exhibition CLIMAVORE: Seasons Made to Drift at SALT Beyoğlu is on view until October 24.

Garanti BBVA is the founder of SALT.