Hixon-Riggs Lecture– “”Botany of Empire: Plant Lives and the Scientific Legacies of Colonialism”

February 23, 2024 Add to Calendar All day event.

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Kathleen Burns


What are the colonial foundations of plant science? Banu Subramaniam draws on fields as disparate as queer studies, Indigenous studies and the biological sciences to explore the labyrinthine history of how colonialism transformed rich and complex plant worlds into biological knowledge. Subramanian then pivots to imagining a more inclusive and capacious field of botany untethered and decentered from its origins in histories of racism, slavery and colonialism. This vision harnesses the power of feminist and scientific thought to chart a course for more socially just practices of experimental biology.


Banu Subramaniam is professor of women, gender and sexuality studies at University of Massachusetts Amherst and author of Holy Science and Ghost Stories for Darwin.