Abstract Detail

Tackling coloniality in plant sciences: Legacies and paths forward

Ayers, Elaine [1].

“From Botanical Espionage to Ordered Herbaria: Colonial Botany and Systems of Power in Historical Perspective”.

Tracing the colonial foundations and legacies of nineteenth century collecting expeditions through herbaria and archives around the world, this talk explores the inextricable connections between the plant materials we rely on in understanding the world around us and the deep-seated violence of colonialism. From botanical espionage to more “mundane” studies of mosses and liverworts, I will contextualize shifting categories of race, gender, and sexuality from the field to the garden, following the colonial botanists who collected, preserved, ordered, exploited, and displayed plants from South America to Indonesia. By unraveling the long systems of power and inequality in the institutions that we work with and care for, this talk will point to the instabilities of collecting and collections over the last two centuries while offering hope for new, more inclusive ways forward.

1 - New York University, Museum Studies / History of Science, 1 Washington Square Village, Apt. 10E, New York, NY, 10012, USA


Presentation Type: Symposium Presentation
Number: S5002
Abstract ID:1070
Candidate for Awards:None

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