Collegium Helveticum
© Z+ZT Herbarium, UZH / ETH Zurich
Fellow Project 2021–2022

The Herbarium as Historical Memory
Chronicling Plant Science in the Present

Sujeet’s project conceptualized the herbarium as a dynamic storehouse of both knowledge production and historical memory. This project delved into the emerging discipline of plant humanities by examining the collections of the United Herbaria Z+ZT, the herbarium of the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich. The term “plant humanities” emphasizes the mutually beneficial possibilities of aligning the methodologies and research imperatives of natural scientists and historians. Sujeet focused specifically on plant transfers from South Asia to Europe in the nineteenth century. This story of the relationship between plants, people, and the larger natural world highlighted the multifaceted development of the discipline of botany and the role of Switzerland within European colonialism.