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Lucas Mertehikian

Post-Doctoral Fellow, Plant Humanities Initiative

Lucas Mertehikian photo

Professional Biography

Lucas Mertehikian is a postdoctoral fellow in Plant Humanities at Dumbarton Oaks. In 2022, he received his PhD in Romance Languages and Literatures from Harvard University, where he was also a graduate student associate at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies. His dissertation, "Fake Originals: Collecting Latin America," examines how ideas of Latin America were constructed between the 1850s and 1950s through US-based collections, including botanical specimens in herbaria. In his second project, he looks at the cultural history of plants and zoological and botanical gardens in Latin America, and their literary and artistic representation, to study how these living collections complicate traditional and exclusionary nation-building narratives.