Book cover image for: Intertwined Histories: Plants in Their Social Contexts

Intertwined Histories: Plants in Their Social Contexts

Edited by Jim Ellis

$15.99 CAD / $15.99 USD (T)

120 pages, 34 illustrations

7.5 x 9.5 inches

978-1-77385-090-0 (Paperback)

978-1-77385-092-4 (Institutional PDF)

978-1-77385-093-1 (ePub)

978-1-77385-094-8 (Mobi)

May 2019

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About the Book

Beautifully illustrated in luminous full colour, Intertwined Histories blends art, poetry, and scholarship in a fascinating exploration of interrelations between humans and plants that will spark joy for art buffs and plant-lovers everywhere.

How do we understand the boundaries of individual creatures?

What are the systems of interdependency that bind all living creatures together? 

Plants were among the the first to colonize the planet. They created the soil and the atmosphere that made life possible for animals. They are some of the largest and oldest life forms on Earth. In spite of their primacy, Western cultures have traditionally regarded plants as the lowest life forms, lacking mobility, sensation, and communication. But recent research argues that plants move and respond to their environment, communicate with each other, and form partnerships with other species.

Art, poetry, and essays by cultural anthropologists, experimental plant biologists, philosophers, botanists and foresters expose the complex interactions of the vibrant living world around us and give us a lens through which we can explore our intertwined histories.  

About the Editor

Jim Ellis is a professor of English and Director of the Calgary Institute for the Humanities at the University of Calgary. He has written widely on literature, art and film, and is the editor of Calgary: City of Animals and Water Rites: Reimagining Water in the West.

With Contributions By:  Nikki Anguish, J. C. Cahill, Jim Ellis, Erina Harris, M. N. Hutchinson, Ciara McKeown, Andrew Mathews, Wes Olson, Laura St. Pierre, Nancy Tousley, Patricia Vieria, Jennifer Wanner, Katherine Ylitalo

Table of Contents


Jim Ellis

On the Nature of Plants: How Different Scientific Perspectives Shape our Understanding of What Plants Are
James F. Cahill, Jr., Megan K. Ljubotina, and Habba F. Mahal

Phytognosis: Learning from Plants

Patricia Vieira

Historia Plantarum: From Persephone’s Abecedarium
Erina Harris

Periculum: Artist’s Statement and Portfolio

Jennifer Wanner

Spectral Garden: Artist’s Statement and Portfolio
Laura St. Pierre

Mike Macdonald’s Butterfly Garden: The Little Garden that Could
Katherine Ylitalo

An Ancient Partnership: Prairie Grass, Bison, and First Nations
Wes Olson

Big Stone
M.N. Hutchinson

Gone Today, Here Tomorrow: An Interview with Mia Rushtion and Eric Moschopedis
Ciara McKeown

The City of Calgary’s Urban Forest: Past, Present, and Future
Nikki Anguish

Make the Waste Places Fruitful Gardens: The Calgary Vacant Lots Garden Club, 1914–1952
Jim Ellis

Leila Sujir’s Forest of Pixels
Nancy Tousley