Conversations from the Cullman Center: American Eden: Victoria Johnson and Maya Jasanoff

June 6, 2018

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Victoria Johnson discusses her new biography, American Eden: David Hosack, Botany, and Medicine in the Garden of the Early Republicwith Maya Jasanoff. In vivid prose, Johnson chronicles the life of the man who was Alexander Hamilton’s personal physician, was admired by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, and dedicated his life to medicine and botany, establishing the first botanical garden in the United States, on the site of what is now Rockefeller Center.     

Victoria Johnson, Associate Professor of Urban Policy and Planning at Hunter College, is the author of Backstage at the Revolution: How the Royal Paris Opera Survived the End of the Old Regime. Prior to moving to New York in 2015, she was an associate professor in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts at the University of Michigan. Johnson worked on American Eden during her Cullman Center Fellowship in 2015-16.

Maya Jasanoff’s most recent book is The Dawn Watch: Joseph Conrad in a Global World. The Coolidge Professor of History at Harvard University, Jasanoff has received many accolades for her work, including a 2017 Windham-Campbell Prize in recognition of her contributions to non-fiction literature and a 2013 Guggenheim Fellowship. She was a Cullman Center Fellow in 2006-7, when she researched her second book, Liberty’s Exiles: The Loss of America and the Remaking of the British Empire.