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Holly Gruntner

Ph.D. Student (ABD)

Advisor: Karin Wulf
email: [[hlgruntner]]
Current Research: Early America, Science, Labor


Holly received her BA from the University of Minnesota, Morris. After working for three years at the Library of Congress, she completed her History MA at William & Mary in 2017. Her MA portfolio explored how botanists in early America relied upon their spouses, children, enslaved people, and servants for crucial scientific labors.

Holly is a PhD candidate in the History Department at William & Mary. Her dissertation is titled "Fertile Ground: Practical Gardens and Horticultural Knowledge in Early America." It focuses on British North America and the early American Republic -- from Virginia north to Maine -- from 1700-1830. To understand ordinary people's intellectual lives and how they put their knowledge to work, Holly's dissertation pulls together a constellation of experiences, tasks, and knowledges of gardens and gardening. It argues that horticultural knowledge was socially made and circulated in a variety of contexts, through collaboration and conflict within households; transactions that took place between neighbors; annotating printed almanacs; and in the annals of agricultural, horticultural, and scientific societies.

Holly is currently a Dissertation Fellow at Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library.