“Agency, Kinship, and Stories of Plants”
Join us for a conversation on the representation of plants in children’s and young adult hosted by Melanie Duckworth and Lykke Guanio-Uluru, co-editors of Plants in Children’s and Young Adult Literature. Panelists will include Justyna Deszcz-Tryhubczak, Anja Höing, Mónika Rusvai, and Terri Doughty. They will discuss critical plant theory, kinship, and the agency of plants in relation to a broad range of children’s and young adult literature from Sweden, the US; Australia and the UK: from Elsa Beskow’s plant people to the terrifying Wood in Naomi Novik’s Uprooted; from violent vegetables in Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton’s The 52-Storey Treehouse to arboreal poetry written by children.
Climate change, deforestation, mass plantations, pesticides and genetic engineering are affecting both plants and the complex ecosystems to which they – and we – belong. One way to begin addressing these issues is to start thinking of plants as more than just objects. Do plants think? We know that they sense – but do they feel? What characterizes plant knowledge? Should we think of them as people? Even if we do not – do plants have rights?
These are questions being asked in the emerging field of critical plant studies. Here, we explore such questions in relation to the rich and varied worlds of children’s literature, which offer unique opportunities to imagine and encounter the life of plants.
Attendees will have the opportunity to submit questions and comments. The event will be recorded.
- Format: Live Zoom webinar
- Time: 09.00-10.00 CT
- Date: March 11, 2022
- Registration required
- Webinar link will be emailed after registration
Lykke Guanio-Uluru is Professor of Literature at Western Norway University and researches literature and ethics, particularly plant studies, ecocriticism, fantasy, and game studies. She is the author of Ethics and Form in Fantasy Literature (2015), co-editor of Ecocritical Perspectives on Children’s Texts and Cultures: Nordic Dialogues (2018) and the author of multiple articles, the most recent of which is “Analysing Plant Representation in Children’s Literature: The Phyto‑Analysis Map”
Melanie Duckworth is Associate Professor of English Literature at Østfold University College, Norway, where she teaches English, postcolonial, and children’s literature. Her research interests include Australian literature, plant studies, children’s literature, and ecocriticism, and she has published on Australian historical children’s fiction, Australian literature, ecofeminism, and contemporary poetry.