Jake Kosek

Assistant Professor Fellow
2011-2012
Image of Jake Kosek.

In “The Making of the Modern Bee: Towards a Critical Natural History of the Honeybee,” Assistant Professor of Geography Jake Kosek uses the honeybee to examine both the complex relationships between society and the environment and the roles of nature in the making of forms of social difference. Investigating the steep decline in honeybee population, Professor Kosek starts with the political economy and cultural politics of the current apiary crisis based on an understanding that society has not only influenced the making of the modern honeybee but that human interests, desires, and economics have actually become part of its material form. Next, he addresses how the sociality and form of nature, in this case the beehive, have been constitutive of contemporary forms of human collective society. From Kant to Marx, Darwin to Du Bois, and far beyond, Professor Kosek shows how theorists, planners, politicians, and others have used bees to understand and legitimate theories of economics, populism, the crowd, race, and human nature.