Critical Plant Studies

This PhD course strives to provide students with cutting edge interdisciplinary perspectives on the philosophy of plants. By introducing the new field of 'critical plant studies', the purpose is to draw on philosophical and humanistic literature to explore, describe, and critically scrutinize new or re-imagined perspectives on plants that are emerging from the life sciences and humanities. A key outcome of the course is the opportunity for students to apply the various themes in relation to their specific field of research, and to investigate what these novel ideas mean for current paradigms of research and practice in environmental and landscape planning and governance.

The theoretical perspectives of the course are structured into five themes of literature, namely: i) Process philosophy and alternative histories of vegetal ontology; ii) New frontiers in scientific understandings of plants, including plant communication and behaviour; iii) Indigenous and animist perspectives on plants; iiii) The discursive power of concepts, symbols and narratives on plants in society including invasive plants; and V) Ethics for sentient plants.

The course is held both web-based and on campus, and consists of lectures and guest lectures with experts from the various themes, literature seminars, group discussions, student presentations, and individual written assignments. 

Application is open for international students but has limited spots. Students from all backgrounds are welcome to apply. Applications for 2024 will open during fall 2023. 

Please get in touch if you have any questions! 

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