CSEAS Brown Bag Seminar: “A Conversation on Botany, Empire, and Environmental Humanities in the Philippines and Beyond”

Event time: 
Wednesday, May 5, 2021 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Location: 
Online () See map
Event description: 

In this open-ended conversation, Kathleen Cruz Gutierrez will discuss current and forthcoming research on the intersections of botany, empire, and vernacular plant knowledge in the Philippines. Moving between Southeast Asian Studies, the environmental humanities and history, Dr. Gutierrez will encourage us to think in new ways about Philippine proto-national and regional floristic space, and challenge historians to question assumptions about the oversimplified intellectual divide between Spanish and US imperial projects. The discussion will be moderated by CSEAS chair, Erik Harms, and will build in ample time for questions from and discussions with the audience.


Kathleen “Kat” Cruz Gutierrez is Assistant Professor in the Department of History at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she teaches courses on modern Southeast Asia, the Philippines, science, and the environment. She completed her Ph.D. in Southeast Asian Studies with a Designated Emphasis in Science and Technology Studies (STS) at the University of California, Berkeley. A specialist of colonial botany, Dr. Gutierrez is completing a manuscript drawn from her dissertation, tentatively titled Sovereign Vernaculars: Philippine Botany at the Dawn of New Imperial Science. Her forthcoming anthology contributions include a genre-bending meditation on the Imelda Marcos toad lily in The Mind of Plants (Synergetic Press, 2021) and a study of the “white space” behind the naming of Cycas wadei in Empire and the Environment: Confronting Ecological Ruination in the Asian-Pacific and the Americas (University of Michigan Press, 2021). Presently, with Paul Michael L. Atienza (Anthropology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), she is guest co-editing a special issue on Philippine STS for Philippine Studies: Historical and Ethnographic Viewpoints. Dr. Gutierrez also co-coordinates the STS Futures Initiative, a professionalization workshop series for STS-inclined humanities graduate students. When not perched at her desk, she watches Forensic Files with her dad and poorly identifies birds in Oakland, CA.

Speaker/Performer: 
Kathleen Cruz Gutierrez, Assistant Professor, Department of History, University of California, Santa Cruz