"The Domestication of Fire, Plants, Animals and ... Us”
James Scott is a leading scholar of political anthropology. Scott serves as the Sterling Professor of Political Science, a professor of anthropology and a professor in the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and he is founding director of the agrarian studies program at Yale University.
In addition to his academic pursuits, Scott is a passionate activist on behalf of the people of Southeast Asia. He has served as a liaison in minority communities of the Burmese uplands, supporting democratic opposition in the country.
In “The Domestication of Fire, Plants, Animals and ... Us,” Scott will discuss the process of human organization into states. He will consider how the history of statehood, social contracts, agriculture, reproduction and property can help in answering questions about future human development.
Scott is the author of several books on power relations and modern states. His book “Weapons of the Weak” uncovers how Malaysian peasants subtly challenged subjugation and is regarded as a key work in the study of grassroots politics and resistance movements. His other works include “Domination and the Arts of Resistance,” a resource on how to recognize and interpret hidden resistance movements, and “Seeing Like a State,” which questions the role and motives of modern states.
The William T. Patten Foundation
The William T. Patten Foundation provides funds to bring distinguished scholars or practitioners in the sciences, the humanities and the arts to the Bloomington campus for a week. The foundation has brought over 150 scholars of extraordinary national and international distinction since 1937, making it the oldest lecture series at Indiana University. Lecturers are chosen by a campus-wide faculty committee.
William T. Patten graduated in 1893 with a Bachelor of Arts in history from IU. He then moved to Indianapolis and led a successful career in real estate and politics. He created an endowment for the university in 1931, with the purpose of bringing renowned leaders to the Bloomington campus.