"These Lusting, Incestuous, Perverse Creatures": A Phytopoetic History of Plants and Sexuality

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Abstract

This article traces the emergence of and shifts in ideas about plant sexuality in European literature from the late seventeenth century to the present, with a particular focus on influential British and a few less well-known German texts. Positioned as a specifically phytopoetic history of plants and sexuality, it demonstrates with the help of literature how plants have been shaping human culture-in this context, the sociocultural norms and understandings of sex, gender, and sexuality. Moving from vegetal visions of virtuous, virginal women-plants and their corruption by pollen and "plant prostitutes"to concerns about "crimes against nature"and the persecution ofmale same-sex desire, this history ultimately arrives at queer reproduction and pleasure as a collective endeavor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)602-617
Number of pages16
JournalEnvironmental Humanities
Volume14
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2022

Keywords

  • gender and sexuality
  • literary and cultural plant studies
  • phytopoetics
  • vegetal eroticism
  • vegetal violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Anthropology
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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