About

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The Gender, Colonialism, and Science Project (“resourcingnatureproject”) draws on a variety of sources (textual, visual, and oral) to illuminate gendered knowledge about nature in various cultural contexts during the period 1750-1950 CE. Our project will make more visible and accessible diversely-gendered, indigenous perspectives, while repositioning colonized perspectives, in the historical context of European expansion and global colonialism—a context in which cross-cultural tensions between knowledge systems resulted in the global dominance of ‘Western’ science and suppression of ‘non-Western’ sciences. We aim to ‘decolonize’ the humanities by interrogating the Western understanding of nature. The finalized outcome of this project will encompass a five volume open-access, digitized book divided thematically by sources relating to the ‘cosmos’, ‘plants’, ‘humans,’ ‘animals’, and ‘environments.’

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Our driving questions:

How can we recover overlooked, neglected, erased, and suppressed sources of their knowledges?

How did women, nonbinary, trans, and queer persons in different racial, cultural settings, and geographies associated with the British Empire understand the natural world?

How does illuminating their perspectives decenter and critique Western, colonial, and masculinist sciences?

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Plant Banner: The plant depicted in our website banner is botanically classified as the Macaranga Tanarius, commonly known as the parasol leaf tree. The plant is a pioneer species native to Southeast Asia, Indonesia, China, Japan, the Philippines, New Guinea, and Australia. It was first collected by European colonial explorers in 1770, particularly, Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander on one of Captain James Cook’s voyages of the endeavour. The plant was introduced to Hawaii in 1926 with the intention of propagating forestry and has since become an invasive species on Kauai, Oahu, and Maui, edging out beneficial native vegetation. Image source: Photo by Yuki Ho on Unsplash. References; CAB International (2022). Macaranga tanarius (parasol leaf tree). Invasive Species Compendium. Available: https://www.cabi.org/isc/datasheet/32763 (accessed January 19, 2022).Parkinson, S. (1768–1781); Macaranga tanarius. JSTOR Global Plants. Available: https://plants.jstor.org/stable/10.5555/al.ap.visual.nhm-uk-l-a393903-354a-m-1 (accessed January 19, 2022). [Pencil sketch with colour notes, based on plants collected during Captain James Cook’s first voyage. Original in the Library & Archives, Natural History Museum, London, Cook First Voyage Artwork Collection, A7/354.] ;Simpson, D. (2019). Macaranga tanarius. Some Magnetic Island Plants. Available: https://somemagneticislandplants.com.au/macaranga (accessed January 19, 2022).

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