Photo of a collage of foods

Upcoming Lectures, Workshops, & Symposia

Foodways—the cultural, historical, and social traditions that surround food—provide context for what we eat, how it gets to us, who prepares it, and who is at the table.

As foodways are central to understanding the experience of immigrants, Indigenous peoples, and descendants of the African Diaspora, food can help us reclaim a sense of identity and kinship—especially when languages or cultural traditions have been prohibited and erased.

The initiative includes the Food Dialogues, Foodways Workshops, and an annual spring symposium.

Nature, Design, & Health! Explorations of a Landscape Architect with David Kamp

December 6; 11 a.m.–12 p.m.
LuEsther T. Mertz Library

Drawing upon his new book, this talk chronicles Kamp’s remarkable career dedicated to connecting people with nature regardless of their capabilities—from children with autism spectrum disorder to elders with cognitive and physical challenges.

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A person using a wheelchair explores a verdant garden space

Fall Foodways Dialogue: Marlon James in Conversation with Dr. Jessica B. Harris

October 21; 11 a.m.
Ross Hall

Man Booker-prize winning author Marlon James will sit down with Dr. Jessica B. Harris for a wide-ranging conversation that will explore memory and history, landscapes and lore, as well as fables, fantasies, gardens, and food as they show up in his work and in his life.

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A person with long dark hair, a beard, and a black collared shirt poses for a photo against a white backdrop

Fire Cider Workshop

November 5, 2023; 12–3 p.m.
Taqwa Community Farm

Fire cider—an herbal tonic—is a traditional remedy that stimulates digestion and supports respiratory wellness. NYBG’s Humanities Institute partners with Taqwa Community Farm in the Bronx to offer a free community workshop.

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A clear glass jar filled with liquid and chopped fruits and vegetables

Indigo: From Leaf to Pigment

October 15, 2023; 12–3 p.m.
Morning Glory Community Garden

Explore your creativity and the wonders of Indigo from NYBG’s African American Garden: The Caribbean Experience with artist Jaleeca Yancy.

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Various strands of blue-dyed yarn drying on white dowels

Ethnobotany of Caribbean Music: Roots, Rhythm, & Resilience—La Bomba

July 19; 3:30 p.m.
At the Edible Academy

This interactive workshop offers a brief introduction on the role of plants in making Caribbean Music. After tracing the history of materials, sounds, and rhythms, participants will engage in an interactive music and dance demonstration—which will culminating in a freeform drum circle jam session.

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A collection of analogue instruments including maracas and hand drums

Symposium: African American Garden: The Caribbean Experience

Saturday, June 17; 10 a.m.–12 p.m.
Ross Hall

Curated by Dr. Jessica B. Harris, African American Garden: The Caribbean Experience will highlight the plants and gardening histories that are essential contributions to Caribbean foodways, including those that have been brought by Caribbean immigrants to the United States. This exhibition will open at the Edible Academy on June 17, the weekend of Juneteenth.

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The African American Garden in the New York Botanical Garden, filled with vegetation.

Celebratory Project Launch: Welcoming Bronx Community Gardeners to the Herbarium

June 2; 5–7 p.m., NYBG

The Humanities Institute, Bronx Green-Up, and William and Lynda Steere Herbarium embark on a new collaborative initiative to support community gardeners, inviting them to make use of NYBG’s research collections.

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A person places green plants and sliced yellow tomatoes on an herbarium specimen sheet

New Studies in Food Humanities—The Mellon Fellows Presentations

May 18; 12 p.m., Online

Every year, the Humanities Institute’s Mellon Fellows give a Research Report showing how they use the historical collections of the LuEsther T. Mertz Library, the Archives, the William and Lynda Steere Herbarium and the Garden’s Living collections to further their studies.

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A yellow flower grows among green foliage

Honey Infusion Workshop

May 13; 12:30–3 p.m.
New Roots Community Farm
670 Grand Concourse, Bronx NY, 10451

As spring approaches and the bees gear up for another season of pollination and creating delicious honey, this workshop will focus on herbal infusions with raw honey. We will dive in on the benefits and medicinal properties of different herbal infusions and how they can be used as immunity boosters, for healing wounds, fighting off cold and flu symptoms, and combatting infections and allergies, among many other benefits.

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A jar of honey filled with dried botanicals

Food Dialogues: The Food of Poetry

April 1, 2023; 11 a.m.
Ross Hall

Dante Micheaux joins Jessica B. Harris in conversation about the poetry of food. Micheaux will read from his own work and discuss other poems by James Emmanuel, Fenton Johnson, Essex Hemphill and Elizabeth Alexander. The conversation will highlight the importance of food in African-American poetic thought and as a vehicle for cultural relationship.

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A table setting of foods in a room full of books, sitting on a decorated red tablecloth

Nahua Recipes Rediscovered: Native Mexican Culinary Celebration

November 18, 2022; 2:30 p.m., Edible Academy

Chef Irwin Sánchez will be giving a culinary demonstration and discussing the close connection between age-old Mexican culinary traditions and the Nahuatl language. The workshop will focus on the importance of Indigenous food and languages as a means of resistance and cultural reclamation.

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A bowl of steaming hot soup garnished with squash blossoms and green herbs

Private Screening: Rhythms of the Land with Gail Myers and Jessica B. Harris

November 12; 11 a.m.Ross Hall

Rhythms of the Land is a valentine to generations of Black farmers in the United States from the enslavement period to the present, whose intense love of the land and dedication to community enabled them to survive against overwhelming odds. Following the screening, filmmaker Gail Myers joins Jessica B. Harris for a fireside Q&A.

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Face of person with outline of Africa in cheek with blue headband and black and blue hair.

Fire Cider Workshop

October 22; 12–3 p.m.
Taqwa Community Farm; 90 W 164th St., Bronx, NY 10452

Fire cider—an herbal tonic—is a traditional remedy that stimulates digestion and supports respiratory wellness. We will be using accessible household ingredients to make this warming remedy.

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A collection of fruits, honey, and other ingredients steeping in jars

Generous support provided by Mellon Foundation