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Kristan M. Hanson

Kristan M. Hanson

University of Kansas, Plant Humanities Fellow

Hanson’s research examines late nineteenth-century portrayals of Parisian women, ornamental plants, and urban spaces, with a particular focus on charting sites where gendered spatial practices intersected with horticultural labor and leisure. While societal attitudes dictated that the lives of proper women ought to be confined largely within the domestic sphere, a sudden expansion of transregional plant trades provided many Parisian women with new opportunities to walk in the city. Certain artists responded to this remarkable change in women’s lives by depicting the kinds of flower shop owners, bouquet-sellers, pedestrian-shoppers, domestic gardeners, and Parisiennes who gained greater visibility and mobility in their roles as the main distributors of plants. To elucidate the significance of these women in art, society, and plant culture, Hanson uses digital humanities approaches to map the locations shown in paintings and those of florist shops, flower markets, and other sites. She argues that these maps and paintings not only articulate an expanded field of mobility for women who transported plants, but also demonstrate the value of a rhizomatic model for studying movement within Paris’s horticultural networks.

Kristan M. Hanson earned her PhD in art history from the University of Kansas in 2020. She holds MAs in art history from the University of Chicago and art education from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Hanson has received fellowships and awards from the Oak Spring Garden Foundation, HASTAC Scholars program, and Hall Center for the Humanities. She was invited to present her research as a participant in the re:work international 2018 Summer Academy, organized by Humboldt University of Berlin in cooperation with the University of Nairobi, in Mombasa and Nairobi, Kenya. Most recently, she coedited the exhibition catalogue Perspectives on a Legacy Collection: Sallie Casey Thayer’s Gift to the University of Kansas (2020), for which she authored two essays.