ASCL Seminar: Plotting human-plant futures in Uganda

This lecture by Dr Sandra Calkins (University of Twente) examines forms of human-plant intimacy emerging in a transnational research project that aims to introduce nutritionally improved banana plants to Uganda. Dr Calkins show hows attending to intimacies between Ugandan biologists and their experimental plants offers an alternative way of narrating and accounting for the history of a place, embodied forms of quotidian plant knowledge that are widely distributed in Uganda and allows sketching other trajectories for the future of collective life. In Uganda, banana plantations are sites of cultural attachment and history, but also of novel natural-cultural experimentation. These forms of intimacy implicated in research projects and the mundane plots where they unfold are undertheorized in the larger lab-based scientific effort of creating genetically modified bananas. Yet, plots and other spaces of cultivation are not only vital for nourishment and health, but they also provide metaphors for social life and imaginations of the future.

This event will be held physically in Leiden. For registrees who cannot travel to Leiden a link to an online platform will be sent one day before the start of the event.
Photo credits: Sandra Calkins.

Sandra Calkins is an anthropologist of science and Associate Professor for Environment, Technology and Decolonial Knowledge in the Department of Knowledge, Transformation, and Society (KiTeS), University of Twente. She works at the intersections of postcolonial science and technology studies, plant studies, and environmental anthropology.



Date, time and location

01 February 2024
16.00 - 17.30
Pieter de la Courtgebouw / Faculty of Social Sciences, Wassenaarseweg 52, 2333 AK Leiden
Room 5.A23