Mary Vaux Walcott

On Naming and Knowing Plants: Botanical Latin and the Ideal of Universal Intelligibility — a Talk by Erin Petrella

This is an online lecture (Eastern Time)

What does it mean to know a plant? How does a name, a textual description, or a visual illustration work to render a plant knowable? Can any of these transcend culture and language to achieve universal intelligibility? Join us as we trace the development of botanical Latin and nomenclature from antiquity to the present and ask after the ideal of universal intelligibility.

Erin Petrella teaches Critical Latin in BISR’s Language Learning and Critique program. Her research focuses on the history and development of botanical Latin, the scientific ideal of universal intelligibility, and textual authenticity. She holds a PhD in Classics from Columbia Univeristy, an MLS in Rare Books Librarianship, and has worked for several years with Columbia’s Justice-in-Education program.

This talk is being held in the context of BISR’s Language Learning and Critique program, an innovative approach to classical languages and their ever-changing scenes of reception. RSVPs will receive a link to the Zoom meeting room where the talk will be held. Click here for a handout to accompany the talk.

Course Schedule

Thursday, 6:30pm ET
August 01, 2024


Registration Open

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