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The Profit of the EarthThe Global Seeds of American Agriculture$
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Courtney Fullilove

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226454863

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226455051.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 26 July 2021

Writing on the Seed

Writing on the Seed

(p.194) 8: Writing on the Seed
The Profit of the Earth

Courtney Fullilove

University of Chicago Press

This chapter considers seeds as 21st century genetic modifications and deep time technologies preserved and improved through generations of selection and improvement. Approaching a grain of wheat in deep time provides a way to explore the fluid, collaborative, and multi-generational aspects of agricultural improvement; its ephemeral, fugitive, and lost-in-translation qualities; and the stubbornness of the seed itself, which operates according to its own rules for when to live and die. The cyclical and repetitive qualities of cultivation and regeneration bring into question concepts of biological innovation supposing linearity, progress, and property, and the progressive histories that support them.

Keywords:   wheat, seeds, deep time, agriculture, commodity, genome, temporality, progress, anthropocene, capitalism, fertile crescent

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