As an echo to the MOOC "Nature in the city and climate change" which is open until May 15th, we invite you to listen to the series proposed by France Culture on the history of plants. You will be able to meet Émilie-Anne Pépy, lecturer in modern history at the University of Savoie Mont Blanc, who was involved in the initial course.
In this episode, Émilie-Anne Pépy and Jan Synowiecki (ATER in modern history at the University of Strasbourg and research assistant at the chair of ecology and environmental history "Laudato Si") explain how royal gardens, planted promenades, and cultivated embankments structured the city of the Enlightenment, and what place plants had in the city, at the dawn of the French Revolution. Beautifying or cleaning up urban space was both a philosophical and political question in the Enlightenment.
When the Enlightenment arrived in the city, the plants beat the pavement - Ep. 3/4 - History of the plant world (franceculture.fr) : Quand les Lumières arrivent en ville, les végétaux battent le pavé - Ép. 3/4 - Histoire du monde végétal (franceculture.fr)
Indeed, a long history links us to the plant world. From the Celts, who made god of all wood, to the impressionist floral paintings and the architectural curves of Art Nouveau and the Belle Époque, the plant world has inspired the makers of cities. This renewed fascination for "nature" has shaped cities and interiors at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, but also today.
Émilie-Anne Pépy has notably published :
- La Ville végétale. Une histoire de la nature en milieu urbain (France, XVIIe-XXIe siècle) (avec Charles-François Mathis, Champ Vallon, 2017)
- Paysages inhumains (avec Hélène Schmutz, Olivier Chavanon et Dominique Pety, Presses universitaires Savoie Mont Blanc, 2021)