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Yota Batsaki

Executive Director and Co-Investigator, Plant Humanities Initiative

Subject Specialty

    • Plant Humanities

    Professional Biography

    Since joining Dumbarton Oaks in 2011, Yota Batsaki has developed the research institute’s capacity in the areas of human resources, strategic planning and organizational development, communications and outreach, and partnership building. She supports the institute’s academic programs, including a new program of skill-building fellowships for early career humanists.

    Batsaki holds a PhD in comparative literature from Harvard University. Previously, she was a Fellow and Director of Studies in English at St. John’s College, Cambridge, and a Newton Trust Lecturer in the English Faculty, University of Cambridge. Her research interests lie in Enlightenment political economy and literature, especially the concept of self-interest; the cultural history of plants in the modern period; and the movement of people, objects, and ideas in the eastern Mediterranean. She has published essays on eighteenth-century literature and culture and has coedited three volumes: The Botany of Empire in the Long Eighteenth Century, with Sarah Burke Cahalan and Anatole Tchikine (Dumbarton Oaks, 2016); Imperial Geographies in Byzantine and Ottoman Space, with Sahar Bazzaz and Dimiter Angelov (Center for Hellenic Studies, 2013); and Fictions of Knowledge: Fact, Evidence, Doubt, with Subha Mukherji and Jan-Melissa Schramm (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2011). Batsaki has held fellowships at the Folger Shakespeare Library and the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Cambridge. In 2002, she cofounded the Harvard Summer Program in Greece, where she continues to teach.

    In 2018–2023, Batsaki will manage, with Anatole Tchikine, the Mellon-funded Plant Humanities Initiative, a digital tool developed in collaboration with JSTOR and related research and scholarly programming to advance the field of plant humanities.


    Contact Yota Batsaki