Settlers’ Botany: Science, Classification, and Conflict in the Caribbean

Friday Seminar
Hannah Anderson, University of Toronto
Jan 27, 2023 at - | Location: McNeil Center for Early American Studies, 3355 Woodland Walk

Hannah Anderson

Hannah Anderson is the University College Fellow in Early American History at the University of Toronto. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 2021. Her book manuscript, Lived Botany: Settlers and Natural History in the Early British Atlantic, argues that, while engaged in their own logics and practices of plant identification, description, and analysis, colonial settlers generated problems of classification and typology that shaped the development of the science of natural history. Her work has been supported by many institutions, including the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, the American Philosophical Society, the Consortium for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the John Carter Brown Library, the Library Company of Philadelphia, the American Antiquarian Society, and the New England Regional Fellowship Consortium.  

The McNeil Center and our partners are making every effort to offer our seminars in a hybrid format, where participants may attend either in person or virtually. More information on locations and virtual attendance options will be announced shortly.


The McNeil Center sponsors a seminar that meets on Friday afternoons approximately twice a month between September and May, with the paper for each session circulated in advance. Over two hundred people attend at least once a year, with an average attendance of 40 to 50 at meetings held at various sites in the Delaware Valley. While most of the regular attendees are graduate students and faculty from institutions in the Philadelphia area, participants come from as far afield as Long Island, New York City, Princeton, Baltimore, Annapolis, and Washington. 

The McNeil Center will utilize a hybrid format for seminars in which participants may gather together at the McNeil Center building (or occasionally at an MCEAS Consortium institution host in the Philadelphia area) or attend via Zoom. All in-person attendees must comply with the University of Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 policiesMasks are optional in the seminar room. For regular updates about our seminars, please join our mailing list. Please email us at mceas@sas.upenn.edu with any questions.