Thinking with Plants

deadline for submissions: 
September 15, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
contact email: 

From arborescence to the rhizome, plants have long served as models for thinking in philosophy, biology, and the arts. In recent years, scholars including Michael Marder, Catriona Sandilands, and Jeffrey Nealon have brought renewed attention to the agency and dynamism of the vegetal, at the same time that the future of plant life has come to be at risk in the wake of climate change and the impending collapse of ecosystems. This panel invites papers that explore ways of thinking about and with plants in the shadow of the Anthropocene. How do writers and visual artists, past and present, help us renegotiate our relationship to the vegetal today? What do plants teach us about forms of species coexistence and the possibility of a reimagined symbiosis on local and planetary scales? What consequences does thinking-with-plants entail for artistic experimentation in the present? This panel focuses on late 20th- and 21st-century writers and artists but is open to other proposals that are pertinent to our contemporary moment. Particularly welcome are interdisciplinary papers that can show how thinking with plants allows us to reconsider the boundaries between scientific activity and artistic experimentation.


Please submit an abstract and bio through the NeMLA portal ( The 52nd Annual NeMLA Convention will be held in Philadelphia March 11-14, 2021.