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2024 Spring Bulb Show Opening Lecture with Dr. Banu Subramaniam

Botanic Garden

Friday, March 1, 2024 7:30-8:30 p.m.

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Weinstein Auditorium & Livestreamed
Open to the Public

For the Love of Plants: Plant Worlds in the Shadows of Empire

Plant worlds are deeply entangled in human worlds. Drawing on recent interdisciplinary scholarship in feminist, postcolonial and indigenous studies, the lecture reflects on how gender, race, class, sexuality and nation shape the foundational language, terminology and theories of the modern plant sciences, and how botanical theories remain grounded in the violence of their colonial pasts. Subramaniam wrestles with these difficult origins and lays a roadmap to imagine new biological frameworks that harness the power of feminist thought to reimagine and reinvigorate our love of plants.  

The lecture will take place in Weinstein Auditorium as well as livestreamed on Facebook and Youtube. Preview of the 2024 Spring Bulb Show at Lyman to follow the lecture. 

About the speaker: Dr. Banu Subramaniam is the Luella LaMer Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at Wellesley College. Trained as a plant evolutionary biologist, Subramaniam engages the feminist studies of science in the practices of experimental biology. Author of forthcoming Botany of Empire: Plant Worlds and the Scientific Legacies of Colonialism (University of Washington Press 2024), Subramaniam’s current work focuses on decolonizing botany, nativism in plant biology and the relationship of science and religious nationalism in India. 

Please note: This event is wheelchair accessible. For information about disability access or to request accommodations, call (413) 585-2407. To request a sign language interpreter specifically, call (413) 585-2071 (voice or TTY) or e-mail All requests must be made at least 10 days prior to the event.