Contact: Mary Bowden, Assistant Professor of Environmental Humanities, University of Delaware
Email: [email protected]
Plants and People, Together in Precarity
ASLE 2021 Virtual Conference Panel
In March 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic began to reshape every aspect of American life, garden suppliers reported shortages as people brought plants into their lives and homes. Online house plant accounts shifted from showcasing collections to documenting slow new growth, while beginning and experienced gardeners alike shared images tagged #gardenupdate on social media during lockdown. Taking the COVID-19 pandemic as exemplary of broader patterns in human-plant interaction, this panel explores how precarity, at times tied to emergencies like climate change and the pandemic, shapes people’s interactions with plants. We welcome papers that explore how different forms of precarity influence how humans interact with the vegetal world, in both the present and the past, in the United States and around the world, and in literature, art, and popular culture. In what ways have emergencies caused us to re-evaluate the place of plants in our lives? What might we learn, or what have we learned, from diverse traditions’ reliance on plants in precarious situations? And how might we use the lessons and experiences from times of emergency to forge better futures, for us and for the plant world?
Posted on March 5, 2021