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Lynn M. Voskuil
University of Houston System (Houston, TX 77204-0001)
Horticulture and Imperialism: The Garden Spaces of the British Empire, 1789-1914

Research and writing leading to publication of a book on the historical and literary relationship between British gardens and imperialism during the long 19th century.

"Horticulture and Imperialism: The Garden Spaces of the British Empire, 1789-1914" is an interdisciplinary book manuscript that explores the role of horticulture in shaping the imperial and ecological ambitions of nineteenth-century Britain. Significant for its attention to the collaborative concerns of empire and environmental studies, this project traces the effects of imperialist perspective on garden design and on the discovery and cultivation of non-native plants for British landscapes. At the same time, it shows how plants themselves, especially exotic specimens with aggressive habits of growth, attenuated the cultural confidence in imperial power by challenging the human expectation of dominance and mastery over the environment. By focusing on horticulture, this study addresses the ideas of both empire and environment as humanist paradigms, reconfiguring our knowledge not only of gardens but also of the concepts of nature and culture that gave rise to them.

Project fields:
British Literature; Interdisciplinary Studies, Other

Fellowships for University Teachers

Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2016 – 5/31/2017