Milo Vella

Milo Vella

Project title: Speculative Agricultures: Envisioning land-relations of tomorrow

Project description: Approaching agricultural practices as acts of world-building, this project seeks to understand the schools of thought underlying each vision. Examining American culture(s) through the various cutting edges of our agriculture, as made visible in advertisements, science fiction, and the media of contemporary agrarian social movements, I am looking to identify the various utopias toward which we are striving. I attend particularly to the question of the ideal relationship between humans and the natural world, and to the aesthetics and politics undergirding our various land-use schemes. What futures are we building for ourselves, and why?

Most important accomplishment:  21 years of life and counting. The immense amounts of food, water, breath, warmth, learning, etc., autonomically translated into this continuous being.

Reflections on the program: The College Scholar Program (CSP) has been a highly rewarding and fortunate experience. The required College Scholar Seminar (COLLS 2001) immersed me in a community of curious and self-motivated peers and a curriculum dedicated to helping us refine and navigate our interdisciplinary courses of study. From the very beginning, the peer group within that small class was invaluable; based on my interests, these newfound friends pointed me toward classes and teachers that have both added depth to my project and changed the way I understand the world.

I have also been fortunate to have found authentic mentorship from my CSP Advisor, Professor Jane Marie Law, who has helped me make the best of my time at Cornell. The program leadership has been very supportive too, generating opportunities for me to develop my ideas and to integrate practical field experience into my College Scholar trajectory.