This paper explores the role of scientists in the building of fascist regimes in Italy and Portugal by focusing on plant geneticists' participation in the Italian and Portuguese wheat wars for bread self-sufficiency. It looks closely at the work undertaken by Nazareno Strampelli at the National Institute of Genetics for Grain Cultivation (Italy) and by Antóónio Sousa da Cââmara at the National Agronomic Experiment Station (Portugal), both of whom took wheat as their prime experimental object of genetics research. The main argument is that the production of standardized organisms——the breeder's elite seeds——in laboratory spaces is deeply entangled with their circulation through extended distribution networks that allowed for their massive presence in Italian and Portuguese landscapes such as the Po Valley and the Alentejo. The narrative pays particular attention to the historical development of fascist regimes in the two countries, advancing the argument that breeders' artifacts were key components of the institutionalization of the new political regimes.
Fascist Labscapes: Geneticists, Wheat, and the Landscapes of Fascism in Italy and Portugal
- Views Icon Views
- Share Icon Share
- Search Site
Tiago Saraiva; Fascist Labscapes: Geneticists, Wheat, and the Landscapes of Fascism in Italy and Portugal. Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences 1 November 2010; 40 (4): 457–498. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/hsns.2010.40.4.457
Download citation file: