Re-curating Herbarium Specimens and Rethinking Botanical Etymologies

Date and Time: 
Thursday, 17 March, 2016 - 13:30
, Sophie - Brown University

My project reimagines more inclusive botanical practices and naming systems by re-curating herbarium specimens from my own collections in Western Massachusetts to reflect their indigenous histories through an alternative labeling system. Reimagining herbarium specimens provides an example for scientists of how to reintegrate marginalized histories into their biological research. The questions guiding my work include: How does our system of classification work to exclude and erase already marginalized groups? How does the use of Latin in binomial nomenclature foreground the legacy of certain botanical cultures at the expense of others? How does the assignment of “authors” to every plant species contribute to an almost exclusively Western narrative of species “discovery?" How do we decolonize a botanical naming and organizational system that was produced by colonial regimes?