Plants have traditionally been reduced to the role of passive bystander, ornamental backdrop, or mere symbol. While posthumanism and environmental humanities have brought non-human agency into focus in recent years, they emphasize animals, landscapes, and ecosystems writ large. This research network focuses on the conceptualization of plants, their agency, and their cultural/natural impact in order to shape the emerging field of literary and cultural plant studies.
For this purpose, we bring together scholars across disciplines who work with a wide range of approaches from already established fields such as animal studies, environmental humanities, posthumanism, traditional philology, eco-criticism, language philosophy, cultural as well as queer and gender studies. We hope that the network will inspire projects that map the topics, theories, and methods specific to literary/cultural/critical plant studies, in order to outline this burgeoning research field and determine its stakes and possibilities.
We welcome like-minded scholars, especially but not exclusively those working in literary and cultural studies, and invite you to join our listserv and contact Joela Jacobs (email@example.com) to add your bio and publications to the website. The website is intended to facilitate collaborations and build a relevant bibliography, to which you can contribute in our Mendeley group.
This international network was founded in 2016 at the German Studies Association conference (at the seminar: The Literary Life of Plants: Agency, Languages, and Poetics of the Vegetal) and is headed by Joela Jacobs and Isabel Kranz, currently supported in a variety of ways by graduate assistants Maren Mayer-Schwieger, Sina Meissgeier, Harry Smith, and Dani Stuchel.