Communication ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 5-13-2019


This study uses oral history and auto-ethnography to collect thematic data on relationships and communication between plants and people in New Mexico, USA. Western and industrial cultures tend to be plant-blind, which is extremely dangerous in the wake of climate disruption and associated loss of plant biodiversity. This study works to collect and produce a generative landscape of narratives of non-binary relationships between humans and plants. These narratives show a range of hopeful, relational connections between human and more-than-human worlds. Overall results indicated the existence of many positive relationships between plants and people in the Western world, and that these relationships develop through human-human communication, plant-human communication, place-making, and relation-making practices. Furthermore, results showed clearly how relationships between humans and plants are wrapped up in history, sense-of-place, family, and identity, positioning studies about plants and humans as an extremely potent and important subject for ecocultural studies.


Plant communication, multi-species relationships, binaries, more-than-human communication, oral history, auto-ethnography, New Mexico

Document Type


Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

Department of Communication and Journalism

First Committee Member (Chair)

David Weiss

Second Committee Member

Tema Milstein

Third Committee Member

Miguel Gandert

Fourth Committee Member

Chris Duvall

Fifth Committee Member

Jaelyn Demaria