Abstract

Abstract:

This essay shows how Emily Dickinson relocates historical agency by attending to the materiality of plant life. An avid gardener, Dickinson was alert to both imperial bioprospecting and plants' own strategies of propagation, and used these human and non-human networks of plant circulation to challenge concepts of nationalism and regionalism that were based in biotic distinctiveness. Moreover, drawing on nineteenth-century scientific discourses about plant sentience, her poems explore the possibility of an active and feeling natural world independent of human hierarchies. Ultimately, Dickinson pushes us beyond the categorical environment towards specific encounters between humans and other forms of life.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1080-6547
Print ISSN
0013-8304
Pages
pp. 141-170
Launched on MUSE
2018-03-09
Open Access
No
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