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The Language of Plants: Science, Philosophy, Literature
— —
Monica Gagliano John C. Ryan
The Language of Plants: Science, Philosophy, Literature by Monica Gagliano at Abbey's Bookshop,

The Language of Plants: Science, Philosophy, Literature

Monica Gagliano John C. Ryan Patricia Vieira


University of Minnesota

Mathematics & Sciences;
Philosophy of science;
Plant physiology


352 pages

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The eighteenth-century naturalist Erasmus Darwin (grandfather of Charles) argued that plants are animate, living beings and attributed them sensation, movement, and a certain degree of mental activity, emphasising the continuity between humankind and plant existence. Two centuries later, the understanding of plants as active and communicative organisms has reemerged in such diverse fields as plant neurobiology, philosophical posthumanism, and ecocriticism. The Language of Plants brings together groundbreaking essays from across the disciplines to foster a dialogue between the biological sciences and the humanities and to reconsider our relation to the vegetal world in new ethical and political terms.

Viewing plants as sophisticated information-processing organisms with complex communication strategies (they can sense and respond to environmental cues and play an active role in their own survival and reproduction through chemical languages) radically transforms our notion of plants as unresponsive beings, ready to be instrumentally appropriated. By providing multifaceted understandings of plants, informed by the latest developments in evolutionary ecology, the philosophy of biology, and ecocritical theory, The Language of Plants promotes the freedom of imagination necessary for a new ecological awareness and more sustainable interactions with diverse life forms.

Edited by:   Monica Gagliano, John C. Ryan, Patricia Vieira
Imprint:   University of Minnesota
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 216mm,  Width: 140mm,  Spine: 51mm
Weight:   408g
ISBN:   9781517901851
ISBN 10:   1517901855
Pages:   352
Publication Date:   July 2017
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Further / Higher Education
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Monica Gagliano is research associate professor of evolutionary ecology and research fellow of the Australian Research Council at the University of Western Australia.John C. Ryan is honorary research fellow in English and cultural studies at the University of Western Australia.Patricia Vieira is associate professor of Spanish and Portuguese, comparative literature, and film and media studies and director of the comparative literature program at Georgetown University.

The Language of Plants boasts a consistent and compelling through-line: what kind of 'languages' plants use and how the plant languages themselves might change the languages humans use to talk about plants. A collection of high-quality essays like this one constitutes a very timely introduction and intervention in critical plant studies.-Jeffrey T. Nealon, author of Plant Theory: Biopower and Vegetable Life The Language of Plants is an excellent and important collection of original essays that intervene in the exceptionally rapidly growing field of critical plant studies, contributing to a contemporary movement to de-center the human, overcome dualistic thinking, and grant agency, intelligence, and consciousness to matter. -Cheryll Glotfelty, co-editor of The Bioregional Imagination: Literature, Ecology, and Place

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