Workshop considers historical knowledge of plants in Canada

Women, Men, and Plants in 19th-Century Canada: New Resources, New Perspectives is the intriguing name of a two-day workshop hosted by the Centre for Feminist Research at York University. The workshop will take place Oct. 19 and 20 at the George Spragge Classroom in the Archives of Ontario building at the Keele campus.

Ann Shteir

The central question of the workshop is: Who shaped access to knowledge of plants in 19th-century Canada? To find out, participants will be led by Ann Shteir, professor emerita of gender, feminist and women’s studies at York University.  She is a well-known scholar of women and science, and in her nearly 45 years teaching at York University, Shteir has made significant contributions to academics and pedagogy, including as founder of York’s graduate program in women’s studies.

The workshop will convene academics, botanists, graduate students and other researchers engaged by the topic of “plants,” understood here as botanical and horticultural objects. The workshop will emphasize the women and men who involved themselves in the world of plants in 19th-century Canada.

Colonial, imperial, and comparative dimensions of this history will be considered, as will the intersecting social formations of gender and class that brought plant-related activities into the lives of women and men at that time. The workshop’s focus on new resources signals scholarly commitment to searching out materials about the role of plants in 19th-century Canada.

For more information and a complete program, visit the Women, Men, and Plants in 19th-Century Canada: New Resources, New Perspectives workshop website.

If you are interested in attending this free event, which is open to the public, organizers request that you submit an RSVP for the workshop and the public lunch through the workshop website.

The event is supported by a generous Connection grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the Centre for Canadian Historical Horticultural Studies at Royal Botanical Gardens, and York’s Faculty of Graduate Studies, the Office of the Vice-President Academic & Provost, the Office of the Vice-President Research & Innovation, the Dean’s Office at the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, School of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies, and the Centre for Feminist Research.