Ringelberg presents at Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies Conference

“'The flower that thinks, the flower that suffers': Anthropomorphization as Art and Science in the Belle Époque" was part of a panel on The Art of Botanizing.

Kirstin Ringelberg, professor of art history

Kirstin Ringelberg, professor of art history in the Department of History & Geography, presented on March 7, 2020, at the Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies (INCS) “Green Conference” at University of Southern California Dornsife. The panel, on The Art of Botanizing, included Kristan M. Hanson of University of Kansas and Jacob H. Leveton of Northwestern University.

Ringelberg’s paper extended past work on the artist Madeleine Lemaire (1854-1928), including work published in the journal Marcel Proust Aujourd’hui as well as work presented at Elon, to considerations of the way flowers were understood and discussed anthropomorphically (relating to or like humans) in the late 19th century, as well as the way the ability to paint flowers was understood in scientific as well as aesthetic terms. Looking at the common confusions of flowers, humans, science, and art, Ringelberg argued that this period and its art promoted a more equitable valuation of the species and a resistance to anthropocentrism we have since lost.