Vegetal Agents, Plant-Human Entanglements, and Julia Margaret Cameron’s Photography

Season 2, Episode 4,   Jul 26, 04:07 PM

Emma and Christy look at Julia Margaret Cameron’s photograph 'Maud' (c. 1874) and discuss plant consciousness, agency, and erotics. In this episode, we cover tendrils and tentacles, Victorian queerness, plant horror, early ecologies, Darwin and plant sex, interspecies entanglements, photography and desire, colonial botany, tipitiwitchets, sadomasochism, and whether your houseplant can kill you.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE IMAGES WE DISCUSS, as well as complete show notes, references, and suggestions for further reading.

Julia Margaret Cameron, Maud (c. 1874)
Bernini, Apollo and Daphne (1622–25); see also this detail from Rape of Proserpina (1621–22)
Julia Margaret Cameron, Illustrations to Tennyson’s ‘Idylls of the King’, and Other Poems (London: King, 1874–75)
Alfred Tennyson, ‘Maud’, excerpted by hand by Julia Margaret Cameron (1874–75)
Julia Margaret Cameron, Pomona [Alice Liddell](1872)
Anna Atkins, cyanotype from Photographs of British Algae (c. 1843–53)
Earlier Julia Margaret Cameron illustration of Maud: The Passion Flower at the Gate (c. 1865)
Julia Margaret Cameron, Charles Darwin (1868)
Charles Darwin, ‘Diagram showing the movement of the upper internodes of the common Pea, traced on a hemispherical glass and transferred to paper’ (1867)
Hokusai, The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife (1814)
Illustration from H. G. Wells’s The Flowering of the Strange Orchid (1894)

This season of ‘Drawing Blood’ was funded in part by the Association for Art History.
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‘Drawing Blood’ cover art © Emma Merkling
All audio and content © Emma Merkling and Christy Slobogin
Intro music: ‘There Will Be Blood’ by Kim Petras, © BunHead Records 2019. We’re still trying to get hold of permissions for this song – Kim Petras text us back!!