Queer Procreation: Reading Kleist Plantwise
At the intersection of two fields of inquiry that are highly imaginative and seek real change – the study of human-plant relations and the even less charted study of queer procreation – this talk explores queer ways of procreating that humans may learn from plants. It will focus, in particular, on grafting as a vegetative union and form of procreation that is not rooted in sexual difference and that creates collective lifeforms based on dividuality rather than individuality. Analyzing Heinrich von Kleist’s Penthesilea, I argue that Kleist’s Amazons are grafted creatures with an ongoing desire to form new grafts.
Katrin Pahl is Associate Professor of German Studies, Johns Hopkins University.