Note: infoDOCKET first shared news about the launch of the Plant Humanities Lab on March 11, 2021.
From the Harvard Gazette:
Like many people, Yota Batsaki spent the last year learning about the natural world around her. Unlike the majority of them, the comparative literature scholar’s interest was mostly nurtured online rather than during long walks to escape lockdown cabin fever.
In March, Batsaki, executive director of Harvard’s Dumbarton Oaks research institute, library, museum, and garden in Washington, D.C., and a group of colleagues launched the Plant Humanities Lab — a digital repository of information and narrative storytelling on the historical and scientific lives of plants like the peony, turmeric root, and the banana.
“The Plant Humanities Lab activates many disciplinary approaches to the cultural histories of plants. You can look at plants from the perspectives of botany, or the history of medicine, the history of migration, of slavery, or of food,” said Batsaki, Ph.D. ’02. “You can weave together these different perspectives to better understand how we ended up where we are now in terms of our relationship to nature.”
With support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Batsaki and Alex Humphreys, director of JSTOR Labs — a subsidiary of academic database JSTOR, which creates digital tools for education and research — began work on the Plant Humanities Lab project three years ago, bringing together web developers, librarians, and scholars.
Direct to Plant Humanities Lab