Conference Information

Vegetal Poetics: Narrating Plants in Culture and History

International conference of the Literary and Cultural Plant Studies Network
in cooperation with Deutsches Hygiene-Museum

June 6-8, 2019, Dresden, Germany

Vegetal Poetics Poster


Registration: Participants are asked to register here by June 1, 2019 (panelists do not need to register again). 

Venue: Deutsches Hygiene-Museum Dresden, Lingnerplatz 1

Organizers & Contact:
Solvejg Nitzke (Technical University Dresden,
Joela Jacobs (University of Arizona,
Isabel Kranz (Vienna University,


Thursday, June 6 (Vorlesungssaal of the Museum)

1pm: Guided Tour through exhibit “People and Plants” with curator Kathrin Meyer (for panelists, meeting in the lobby of the museum)

2:30pm: Welcome Address (Joela Jacobs, Isabel Kranz, Solvejg Nitzke)

3–4:30pm: Political Gardens (Joela Jacobs)

  • Andrée-Anne Kekeh-Dika (University of Paris 8): Jamaica Kincaid’s Writings, or the Possibilities of “Green”
  • Christine Gerhardt (University of Bamberg): “My Jungle fronts on Wall Street”: The Plant Politics of Emily Dickinson’s Exotic Gardens

4:30pm: Coffee Break

5–6:30pm: Plant Potentials (Isabel Kranz)

  • Helga Braunbeck (North Carolina State University): Writing Trees and Chasing Spirits: Marion Poschmann’s and Esther Kinsky’s Third Nature Poetics
  • Eva Axer (Leibniz Center for Literary and Cultural Research): Metamorphosis of Plants 2.0: Exploring the Time Scale of Literary Narratives and the "Deep Time" of Plants

7-8:30pm: Reading and Discussion with Sabine Scho: “Pflanzen erzählen – Pflanzen zwischen Wissenschaft und Dichtung with Solvejg Nitzke, Isabel Kranz, and Joela Jacobs

This is a public event taking place in German. Panelists are invited to attend or take a break.


Friday, June 7 (Martha-Fraenkel Saal, Conference Center of the Museum)

9–10:30am: Literary Botanies (Joela Jacobs)

  • Rachel Bouvet (University of Quebec at Montreal) and Stephanie Posthumus (McGill University): The Botanical Imaginary
  • Oliver Völker (Goethe University Frankfurt): Intricate Plants and Figures of Growth in Alfred Döblin‘s Writings

10:30am: Coffee Break

11am–12:30pm: Arboreal Poetics (Nicole Thesz)

  • Patrícia Vieira (University of Coimbra): The Amazonian Rainforest in Literature, Cinema and Art
  • Susan McHugh (University of New England): Forest Thinking in Contemporary Environmentalist Film and Fiction

12:30pm: Lunch

2–3:30pm: Vegetal Temporalities (Isabel Kranz)

  • Klara Schubenz (University of Mainz): On Stifter‘s Law of Gradualness
  • Robert Barrett (University of Illinois): The Vegetal Temporality of Medieval British Drama

3:30pm: Coffee Break

4–5:30pm: Vegetal Agencies (Solvejg Nitzke)

  • Giulia Pacini (College of William & Mary): Saving the Body Politic: Ensuring the Flow of Tree Sap in French Revolutionary Discourse
  • Ragnild Lome (Linköping University): Imaginations of Plant Agency in the 1950s and 60s: Readings of the Short Story Trapperne by Cecil Bødker and the Radio Play The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham

6–7pm: Reading and Discussion with Christian Lehnert: “Narrating Plants – Plants between Science and Poetry” with Solvejg Nitzke, Isabel Kranz, and Joela Jacobs

This is a public event taking place in German. English translations will be provided. Panelists are invited to attend or take a break.

8pm: Conference Dinner (for panelists)


Saturday, June 8 (Martha-Fraenkel Saal, Conference Center of the Museum)

9–10:30am: Plant Bodies (Solvejg Nitzke)

  • Alessandro Buccheri (LabEx haStec/Centre Jean Pépin): Talking about Plants in Ancient Greek Poetry and Medicine: A Dialogue between Homer and Hippocrates
  • Pamela MacKenzie (University of British Columbia): The Hand, the Eye, the Microscope and the Knife in Nehemiah Grew’s Anatomy of Plants (1682)

10:30am: Coffee Break

11am–12:30pm: Romantic Plants (Christina Becher)

  • Anke Kramer (University of Siegen): Dynamic Plants in Tieck’s Phantasus
  • Michael Bies (Free University Berlin): Vegetal Life, Vegetal Poetics, and Goethe’s Novella

12:30pm: Lunch

1:30–-3pm: Plant Palpations (Frederike Middelhoff)

  • Jana Kittelmann (University Halle-Wittenberg): “Amor unit plantas”: Plants as Actors in 18th-Century Idyll and Love Poetry
  • Maren Mayer-Schwieger (Leuphana University Lüneburg): Phytotaxis: Getting in Touch with Climbing Plants

3pm: Coffee Break

3:30pm: Concluding Remarks (Joela Jacobs, Isabel Kranz, Solvejg Nitzke)

 Logo DHMD                Logo Thyssen 

 Logo TU                      Logo DFG


The conference is supported by Deutsches Hygiene-Museum Dresden, Fritz Thyssen Stiftung, and Technische Universität Dresden. This project is part of TU Dresden’s Institutional Strategy, funded by the Excellence Initiative of the German Federal and State Governments.