You are here:Home/Research/ Mellon Initiatives/ Plant Humanities Initiative/ 2022 Plant Humanities Summer Program

2022 Plant Humanities Summer Program

June 27–August 12, 2022 | Program for advanced undergraduates and graduate students with an interest in plants from the perspectives of botany, botanical exploration, the history of science and medicine, environmental studies, art history, literature, and the history of the book and botanical illustration.

Apply

Course Leader: Yota Batsaki

Course Faculty: Yota Batsaki, Ashley Buchanan, Peter Crane, Rosetta Elkin, William (Ned) Friedman, Anatole Tchikine

The fourth year of the Plant Humanities summer program is an exciting collaboration of the Dumbarton Oaks Plant Humanities Initiative, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with Oak Spring Garden Foundation and the Arnold Arboretum at Harvard University. The summer program will be hybrid, with virtual sessions alongside on-site instruction at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, DC, and site visits to Oak Spring (Virginia) and the Arnold Arboretum (Boston).

Continuing the successful experiment of previous years, the course will introduce students to the emerging field of plant humanities, drawing on botany, evolutionary biology, history, art history, the history of science, literature, indigenous studies, and environmental studies. In addition, participants will receive structured training in digital skills and the use of special collections. By the end of the course, participants will have integrated and applied these diverse approaches by working in teams to create interactive plant narratives for the Plant Humanities Lab, an innovative digital space that Dumbarton Oaks co-developed with JSTOR Labs.

The lectures and seminars will explore aspects of plant humanities from the early modern period through to the present, both in special collections (Dumbarton Oaks) and site visits (Oak Spring, Arnold Arboretum). The digital training will include workshops on tools for textual, visual, spatial, and network analyses such as text mining through Voyant, image comparison and annotation utilizing IIIF manifests, mapping overlays and plugins through Geojson and Leaflet, and network visualizations using D3.

For their final projects, students will work in teams, supported by the instructors, to develop interactive essays for the Plant Humanities Lab. Students will draw on digitized rare and unique materials from the Dumbarton Oaks collection, BHL, Oak Spring, the Arnold Arboretum, Global Plants, and other digital databases to craft engaging narratives and visualizations about the fundamental influence of plants on human cultures. To create their essays, participants will use Juncture, a new, open access, visual essay tool developed by JSTOR Labs specifically for this project.

Participants will receive reimbursement of economy travel related to the program upon submission of receipts (up to $1,450 for domestic and $1,850 for international travel); and accommodations and weekday lunches for the in-person portion of the program. They will receive training in the digital humanities and participate in seminar instruction in the interdisciplinary field of plant humanities, and will have the opportunity to conduct research and publish their work, subject to peer review, on the Plant Humanities Lab. They will also join a vibrant community of scholars focused on plant-human relationships and build lasting contacts.

Schedule

The program begins with a week of virtual instruction (June 27–July 1). Participants should plan to arrive to Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, DC during the weekend of July 2–3. In-person instruction will take place during the period of July 5-22, with site visits to Oak Spring Garden Foundation in Virginia (2 days) and Arnold Arboretum in Boston (3 days). Participants may depart from Boston on July 22. The following three weeks (July 25–August 12) will again be virtual, with further digital training and work on the team projects. The program will conclude with the submission and virtual presentation of the group projects on August 11–12. If the pandemic necessitates a switch to fully virtual programming, we will substitute a stipend to participants in lieu of travel reimbursement and accommodations.

All resulting work produced by the participants will be peer reviewed and credited.

Admission Requirements  

Priority will be given to advanced undergraduate and graduate students with special interests (demonstrated through coursework or research projects) in the fields of history of science, environmental studies, digital humanities, art history, and/or botany. However, we also welcome applications from candidates who may not already possess skills in digital humanities or the use of special collections but seek to develop these skills.

Application

Prospective candidates are invited to apply (statement of interest, résumé, transcript, and the names of two referees) through the Embark system. All application materials must be received by March 15, 2022. Selection criteria include (but are not limited to) a demonstrated need for the program and the candidates’ present and future research objectives. International candidates are welcome to apply. For further information, please contact PlantHumanities@doaks.org.

 

Past Participants

2021

  • Elizabeth Chant, University College London/Institute of Historical Research, University of London
  • Ashley Thuthao Keng Dam, Universita degli Studi di Scienze Gastronomiche
  • Katherine Enright, Harvard University
  • Allison Fulton, University of California, Davis
  • Diana Heredia-López, University of Texas at Austin
  • Christina Hourigan, Royal Holloway, University of London/Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
  • Maria Job, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Emily E. M. Kamm, Northwestern University
  • Sarah W. Mallory, Harvard University
  • Rachael Nelson, Boston University
  • Haley Price, University of Texas at Austin
  • Amara Santiesteban Serrano, International University Menéndez Pelayo – Spanish National Research Council
  • Jeannette Schollaert, University of Maryland, College Park
  • Erin Wrightson, University of Pennsylvania

2020

  • Thomas C. AndersonColumbia University
  • Christina EmeryUniversity of Cincinnati
  • Rachel Hirsch, Harvard University
  • Yao Jiang, University of Virginia
  • Cati Kalinoski, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University
  • Anna Lawrence, University of Cambridge
  • Verónica Matallana ChavesUniversidad Nacional de Colombia
  • Lucas Mertehikian, Harvard University
  • Daisy Reid, University of Southern California
  • Melinda SusantoLeiden University
  • Camilo Uribe BottaUniversity of Warwick
  • May Wang, Harvard University

2019

  • José Chavez-Verduzco, Yale University
  • Jessie Wei-Hsuan Chen, Utrecht University
  • Maia Dixon, University of Bristol
  • Héctor Hernandez, Yale University
  • Melissa Hodde, Houghton College
  • Tyler Lutz, Yale University
  • Dominique Madill, University of Guelph
  • Nirupa Rao, University of Warwick
  • Brandon Scott, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Kristin Zodrow, University of California, Berkeley