Plants and Empires
April 14, 2023 | 9:00AM - 4:00PM
This conference takes place in Room 100, Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St George Street
This one-day international conference explores the question of “plants and empires” from multiple vantage points: circulation and networks, labour, plant uses (medicinal, perfume, culinary). A host of spaces are considered, including botanical gardens, perfumeries, sites of contact. Plants considered include breadfruit, ylang-ylang and vanilla, amongst many others.
Panel I, 9 AM, Jackman Building, Room 100
Andreas Motsch, University of Toronto, “The discovery of panax quinquefolius (Canadian ginseng): botany, theology and the history of pharmacology.”
Prof. Bertie Mandelblatt, John Carter Brown Library, Rhode Island "Breadfruit between Two Global Empires: Slavery, Subsistence and Imperial Competition from New Guinea to Martinique."
Dr. Oana Baboi, University of Toronto. “Experiences with oriental plants: 16th-century Portuguese surveys of Indian materia medical.”
Thomas Fisher Rare Books Library Visit, 11 AM
Panel II, 2 PM, Jackman Building Room 100
Prof. Owen White, University of Delaware, "A Different Kind of Colonist: Phylloxera in Algeria."
Mathilde Cocoual, Centre de la Méditerranée Moderne et Contemporaine, "Colonisation et nouvelle géographie des plantes à parfum (19e-20e siècle)". Prof. Eric Jennings, University of Toronto, “The French empire’s near vanilla monopoly, 1870-1960.”
Prof. Gillian McGillivray, Glendon College/ York University, "Empire's Orphan: Cane-sugar and Capitalism in Brazil, 1889-1959."
Sponsored by the Centre for the Study of France and the Francophone World, the Centre for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies, Thomas Fisher Rare Books Library, French Consulate and Embassy and the Jackman Humanities Institute