Knowing plants 
Luci Attala (University of Wales, Trinity St David)
Room 2
Start time:
15 September, 2011 at 9:00 (UTC+0)
Session slots:

Short Abstract:

This panel explores humanity's relationship with plant life with the aim to consider the communicative properties of relating to, ingesting, cultivating and conceiving of plants.

Long Abstract:

Plants are not generally considered communicative and yet humanity's history reveals a rich and involved relationship where knowledge has been conceived in the interaction them. Scientific conceptions of plants encourage a domination of their nature with the control of their expression being voiced as important to people's survival. However, with increasing concerns for planetary endurance, the conception of humans' place in ecology is being revisited and reworked to include a re-evaluation of human/plant discourse. Ecological solutions constructed in a framework of sustainability include plants for their sustenance, healing, reconstructive and rebalancing properties, but increasingly indigenous knowledge constructed through a narrative which includes dialogue with plants challenges preconceptions by modelling plants as teachers. With this in mind, this panel considers how plants are negotiated and experienced in a wide variety of circumstances including ingestion as a means towards health or disease; shamanic activities, communicating with plants; smoking; 'drug' taking; herbal knowledge/healing; tree planting; the construction, cultivation and meaning of house plants, flowers, gardens/allotments.

Accepted papers: