Special Issue "Thinking Cinema—With Plants"

A special issue of Philosophies (ISSN 2409-9287).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 September 2022 | Viewed by 178

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Sarah Cooper
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Film Studies Department, King’s College London, London WC2R 2NE, UK
Interests: ecology and the moving image; film and philosophy; history of film theory; modern critical theory

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In his philosophy of film, Gilles Deleuze compares filmmakers to philosophers, saying that the former think with images rather than concepts (Deleuze 1983). In subsequent scholarship on film and philosophy (Constable 2005; Frampton 2006), this thinking in images transfers from the filmmaker to the film, as film itself is understood to think. For philosopher John Mullarkey, however, the thinking that film is said to do is usually based on a pre-established philosophy rather than on an ability to philosophize in its own right (Mullarkey 2009). Mullarkey proposes a non-philosophy of cinema to overcome this impasse, which would redefine what we imagine philosophy to be and what it can become. This Special Issue proposes a different turn—a turn towards the vegetal world—in order to revisit relations between film and thinking.

How does filmic engagement with the vegetal prompt new kinds of thinking? What if film was understood not only to think, but to think like a plant? Michael Marder speaks of plant-thinking as ‘non-imagistic’, and it is the way in which this vegetal philosophy removes the head from thinking that serves to inspire thinking differently with, about, and through cinema. However, this is just a starting point for a broader series of reflections, interrogations, and imaginings in this Special Issue of Philosophies, 'Thinking Cinema—with Plants'. Building on the steady increase in film scholarship on plants in recent years, this volume will explore how engaging with a myriad of aspects of the vegetal world through film has the capacity to open up new lines of thought, in film and beyond. 

Contributions are invited to consider how any of the following areas encourage innovative ways of thinking about plants through film: cinematic time and plant time; early pioneers of filming plants (Darwin, Comandon, Field and Smith, Pillsbury); experimental film and the vegetal; film, forests, woods, and arboreal ecosystems; film, plants, colonialism, and decolonization; film, vegetables, and fruits; film and veganism; film and weeds; film and the ‘Planthropocene’ (Natasha Myers); filmic engagement with the aesthetics, nature, artifice, and technologies of plant life; filmic exploration of plants and sentience, plants and intelligence; filmic probing of darkness, soil, roots and post-phenomenological, post-metaphysical thinking; filmic reflections on ‘how like a leaf we are’ (Donna Haraway); filmic treatment of plant stillness, movement, transformation in death, decomposition, and compost; filming moss; films that go beyond or challenge distinctions between plant and animal life (on fungus, on slime mould); ‘Flower power’—social and political movements and the power of plants in film; light, photosynthesis, plant growth, and filmmaking; natural history filmmaking and nature documentary focused on plants; plant science and film; plants and queerness in film, plants and the feminine in film; plants as ingredients for green film processing; plants as props, part of mise en scène, décor, foreground, and backdrop; symbiosis and sympoiesis of animal–vegetal–mineral relations in film; time-lapse and animation of the vegetal world; underwater plants and the filming of vegetal marine life; vegetal silence and the sound of plants in film.

The deadline for submitting abstracts is 1 December 2021. Abstracts could be sent either via the Special Issue website or to the guest editor via email <[email protected]>. The deadline for final manuscript submissions is 1 September 2022.

Prof. Dr. Sarah Cooper
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Philosophies is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • film philosophy and plants
  • plant thinking and film thinking
  • cinematic and plant time and movement
  • animal–vegetal–mineral relations in film
  • plants, film, and politics
  • human–technology–plant relations
  • ecology and the moving image
  • plant and film ethics
  • plant aesthetics and film
  • plant science and film

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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