Mertz Library Humanities

Past Events & Symposia

See information on all past lectures and symposia below. Find recordings of select events in our accompanying Lecture Library

A row of growing corn under a blue sky

Nahua Recipes Rediscovered: Native Mexican Culinary Celebration

November 18, 2022
An illustration of a person's profile as they look leftward wearing a blue headwrap and hair pulled up

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

Saturday, November 12, 2022
A clear glass jar filled with liquid and chopped fruits and vegetables

Fire Cider Workshop

November 5, 2023
A farm with greenhouse and red shed on it

A Seat at the Table Symposium

Saturday, June 18, 2022
A man with long, dark braided hair, wearing a purple shirt and khaki pants, displays a plate of shrimp and vegetables in a natural setting

The Food Dialogues:
Matthew Raiford in Conversation with Jessica B. Harris

Friday, April 29, 2022
Plates of food on a sunny table alongside a beachscape

Afro-Indigenous Histories of Food and Gardening in the Bronx

Friday, April 8, 2022
A colorful tree trunk displays rainbow colors

New Visions of Botanical History—The Andrew W. Mellon Fellows Presentations

Friday, January 28, 2022
A wooden mortar and pestle sits on a table with various wooden utensils and a turtle shell

Afro-Indigenous Histories of Food and Gardening: Garifuna Plant Knowledge, Past and Present

Friday, October 29, 2021
Several leafy tree stems cut, trimmed, and placed in an empty, orange prescription bottle

Cassandra Quave:
The Plant Hunter

Friday, October 22, 2021
Plant-based burgers in a variety of shapes and colors sit on a cutting board, plants visible in the background

Plant-Based Foods and the City: From Seed to Take-Out

Friday, October 1, 2021
A pink flower blooms at the top of a long stem, surrounded by a meadow of long, seeding grasses and reeds

Traditional Farming and Crop Diversity for a More Resilient Future

Friday, September 24, 2021
A table piled high with dried leaves, roots, bark, and fruits, with a selection of bottles filled with red and yellow beverages behind

Rooted in Culture and Nature: Jamaican Root Tonics in
New York City

Friday, August 27, 2021
Photo of botanists examining a specimen in Vanuatu's forest

Earth Day Documentary Premiere: Plants and People of Vanuatu

Thursday, April 22, 2021
Photo of blooming yellow daffodils in a field

Celebrating Daffodils

Friday, April 2, 2021
Photo of a fern pressed in an antique book

Humanistic Uses of Herbaria

Friday, March 19, 2021
Illustration of a Mopox canal house with an inscription

Botany, Race, and Power: The History of Expeditions to Cuba

Friday, March 5, 2021
Photo of Wayt Thomas in Brazil

Plant Diversity in Brazil: Studying Sedge Evolution and the Atlantic Coastal Forest

Friday, January 29, 2021
Painting of a young Charles Darwin

Darwin's Passion for Plants

Friday, January 22, 2021
Tight view of lots of palm trees with a little bit of blue sky and clouds along the top of the image. Lots of green palm frawns and tree trunks taking up most of the visual space.

39 Years of Palm Research at NYBG: A Retrospective

Friday, January 15, 2021
Photo of an herbarium staffer mounting a specimen

Collectively Saving Plant and Fungal Biodiversity

Friday, January 8, 2021
Photo of "Two Plants" by Lucian Freud, 1977-80

Lucian Freud's Paintings of Plants—From Symbolism to Truth

Friday, December 4, 2020
Original abstract watercolor by Zoe Todd, with lime green swirls, light and dark purple swirls, and orange and red curved space in the corner with circles on it

First Nations: Ethical Landscapes, Sacred Plants

Friday, November 13, 2020
SeaBeach Amaranth

Conserving the Rare Plants of New York

Friday, November 6, 2020

The Brazilian Amazon Under Threat: A Report on the Impacts of Climate Change and Deforestation in the World's Largest Rain Forest

Friday, September 25, 2020
Photo of a woman walking in a field.

Carolyn Finney
Black Faces, White Spaces: Christian Cooper, John Muir & (Re)Claiming a Green World

Friday, September 11, 2020
Photo of Alley Creek Wetlands

Alley Creek Wetlands: A Floristic Quality Assessment

Friday, August 21, 2020
A young girl smelling a plant

Beyond Barriers: Accessing Nature for People with Disabilities

Friday, July 31, 2020
An array of plants arranged by the colors of the rainbow.

Queering Botanical Science:
A Discussion in Celebration of LGBTQ+ Pride Month

Friday, June 26, 2020
Three children's books

Wonders in the Garden!: A Celebration of Spring and Early Literacy

Friday, May 29, 2020
An Image of the forest.

Implementing a Citywide Management Framework for New York City’s Wild Forests

Friday, May 1, 2020
Bombus Bimaculatus -- Two Spotted Bumblebee

Earth Day @ 50: Tools for 21st-century Ecology Webinar

Friday, April 24
Photo of a garden visitor among daffodils

Celebrating Daffodils in the American Garden

Friday, April 17
Event Cancelled
Image from the cover of The Earth In Her Hands

The Earth in Her Hands: 75 Extraordinary Women Working in the World of Plants

Friday, March 13, 2020
Photo of an Aukre chief smelling a vine

Botanies of Desire: Fragrance, Healing, and Sexual Attraction in the Amazon

Friday, April 3, 2020
Photo of Russel Page

The Life and Legacy of Russell Page

Friday, February 28, 2020
Photo of a sunny cottage

American Gardens and the Black Diaspora

Friday, February 21, 2020
Photo of a chair washed up on a beach

Hidden Ecologies: Assessing the Use and Stewardship of Urban Waterfronts

Friday, January 17, 2020
Illustration of a mushroom from the herbarium

Our Lady of the Gasteromycetes: The Mushrooms of Violetta White Delafield

Friday, January 10, 2020
Photo of James Lendemer in the field

The Lichencosm: Small Fungi, Big Roles, Important Insights into Obligate Symbiosis

Friday, December 20, 2019
Photo of a dyed leaf's structure

Leaf Architecture: Art, Atlas, Applications

Friday, December 13, 2019
An illustration of white and pink flowers on a catalog cover from Ellwanger & Barry Mount Hope Nurseries

The Andrew W. Mellon Fellows Presentations

Friday, November 22, 2019
Photo of David Harrison recording languages in Vanuatu

Plants, People, & Languages

Friday, November 8, 2019
Photo of Marta McDowell

Emily Dickinson's Gardening Life: Marta McDowell in Conversation with Alice Quinn

Friday, November 1, 2019
Photo of Michael Wang's "Extinct in New York" exhibit

Extinct in New York: Returning the City's Lost Plants

Friday, October 25, 2019

Cultivated Circles: Japanese Plants and Origins of the American Arboretum

Friday, October 4, 2019
An aerial view of Brazilian Modern, showing black-and-white curved paths, a sculptural water feature, and plants.

Roberto Burle Marx: Innovation and Activism

Friday, September 13, 2019
A color illustration of a Liriodendron.

Leaves: What They Are, How They Work, and How to Draw Them

Friday, September 6, 2019
A map of New Amsterdam in 1639

Humanities Research Fellows Presentations II

Friday, August 23, 2019
The Thain Forest and Bronx River in fall

Humanities Research Fellows Presentations I

Friday, August 16, 2019
Photo of Lauren J. Young

Seeking Nature's Narrative with Science Friday

Friday, July 12, 2019
The Lillian Goldman Fountain of Life at the entrance of the LuEsther T. Mertz Library

An Investigation of Darwin Materials in the Mertz Library

Friday, June 28, 2019

Elizabeth Bishop in Brazil

Friday, June 21, 2019

Symposium: Roberto Burle Marx—A Total Work of Art

Friday, June 7, 2019

250th Anniversary of Alexander von Humboldt with Andrea Wulf

Friday, April 19, 2019
Someone taking a photo of lilies.

Nature at Your Doorstep: Celebrating the Public Participant in Research

Friday, April 12, 2019
Image of Garden Gate from Beatrix Farrand

The Humanities Institute Presents:
Beatrix Farrand's American Landscapes

Friday, March 15, 2019
A large tree branching out

The Overstory: Richard Powers with Todd Forrest

March 7, 2019
Photo of the cover of Street Trees

Seeing Trees: A History of Street Trees in New York City and Berlin

Friday, February 1, 2019
An autumnal scene overlooking a pond.

Picturesque: Celebrating Sublime Nature

November 16, 2018 & December 7, 2018
Photo of a tourist standing next to Hawaiian silversword

Mellon Fellows Research Report

Friday, November 30, 2018
Honeybee Hotel

Honeybee Hotel

Friday, October 26, 2018
Jensen photo

Common Ground

Friday, October 12, 2018
Around the World in 80 Trees

Around the World in 80 Trees

Friday, September 28, 2018
Lobelia Herbarium

Anchoring Names at Drift

Friday, September 7, 2018
Mellon Fellowship

Mellon Fellows Presentations II

Friday, August 24, 2018
Mellon Fellowship

Mellon Fellows Presentations I

Friday, August 17, 2018
Cherry blossoms in front of the Conservatory

Japan Study Day

Friday, April 27, 2018
Managing the Wild book

Managing the Wild:
Stories of People and Plants and Tropical Forests

Friday, April 20, 2018
Sunflowers with mountains in the background

The Gardens of La Gara

Friday, April 13, 2018
Painting of flowers growing in a tree

Symposium: Plant Intelligence

Thursday, March 22, 2018
lavender plants

Essential Oils in Their Social and Geographical Environment: An Experience for the Senses

Friday, January 19, 2018
Ten Views in the Island of Antigua

The Andrew W. Mellon Presentations

Friday, November 17, 2017
Photo of Humanities event

Prince Pückler’s Letters of a Dead Man

Friday, October 27, 2017
Images of Sundew plants with a sign that says "Darwin's Backyard"

Darwin’s Backyard: How Small Experiments Led to a Big Theory

Friday, September 22, 2017
An illustration of two women and a dog walking in Monceau's garden from Flora Illustrata.

Carmontelle’s Jardin de Monceau: Celebrating the Unique Garden Culture of 18th-Century France

Thursday, September 7, 2017
People viewing a presentation

Food, Tech, and the City

Friday, March 24, 2017
Drawing of a plant with berries and butterflies

Great Collections and the Art of Nature

Friday, January 27, 2017

From the Garden of Eden to the Megalopolis: Mexico City Before and After Kahlo

Sunday, June 26, 2016
People standing in front of bookshelves

The Healing Properties of Plants: Art, Culture, Science

Sunday, June 26, 2016