Alejandro Ponce de León
University of California, Davis, USA


In this essay, I discuss the turn to plant and vegetal life that has recently taken place in Latin American cultural studies. I do so by considering three recently published books on this matter: Monica Gagliano, John Ryan, and Patrícia Vieira’s edited volume The Language of Plants: Science, Philosophy, Literature, Theresa Miller’s Plant Kin: A Multispecies Ethnography in Indigenous Brazil, and Lesley Wylie’s The Poetics of Plants in Spanish American Literature. I sketch the contributions and possibilities within the broader botanical turn and expand on how Latin American scholarship offers novel tools to explore the entangled relations between humans and plants. Thinking through Latin American botanical scholarship, I suggest, opens new possibilities to move conversations on the botanical turn into unexpected territories characterized by hybridizations and multiplicities.

Keywords: Multispecies studies, environmental humanities, posthumanism, Anthropocene studies, critical plant studies, botanical turn.