The Penn Humanities Forum is pleased to participate in this year's Philadelphia Flower Show by hosting two seminars featuring University of Pennsylvania garden experts John Dixon Hunt and Rebecca Bushnell speaking under the general topic of human and garden natures. The seminars are free (apart from the general ticket price to enter the Flower Show); please consult the Flower Show organizers for location. We hope you will join us for these discussions on how gardens are the writing of human nature across the natural landscape!
Tuesday, March 7, 3:00 pm
Pictures of Possible and Impossible Gardens
John Dixon Hunt
Professor and Chair of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning Graduate School of Fine Arts, University of Pennsylvania
Why are humans so fascinated by gardens? Prof. Hunt will explore the idea of the garden and why humans are so drawn to it, showing paintings and other images of gardens as examples of how gardens change culturally and historically when human self-analysis and self-explanation take new forms.
Wednesday, March 8, 4:00 pm
Professor of English and Associate Dean of Arts and Letters University of Pennsylvania
Prof. Bushnell will explore ways of thinking about the social worlds of flowers and people, particularly in the Renaissance. How does the notion of class and fashion in flowers, that is, their status, reflect on those who grow or collect them? We will also consider scenes from Shakespeare's Hamlet and The Winter's Tale in which women distribute flowers according to the "nature" of the recipient to see how such literary texts helped to create an artificial language of flowers.