Date of Award
Thesis open access
Heather I. Sullivan
This creative writing honors thesis is a memoir that echoes the dynamic conversation and kindred relationship that develops between me and kudzu. This piece delves into the empowering perplexity that erupts in my mind and body when I see kudzu rampant in a forest. The title “Making Kin with Kudzu” refers to ecofeminist Donna Haraway’s urge to “make kin in lines of inventive connection as a practice of learning to live and die well with each other in a thick present” as well as acknowledge that “all earthlings are kin in the deepest sense” because “all critters share a common ‘flesh’ laterally, semiotically, and genealogically” (1, 103). I creatively engage with kudzu by creating worldings. This term ‘worldings’ refers to biosemiotics, which looks at the biological realm through a lens of signs and codes that underscore the communication that all living beings engage with, emphasizing language as “world-making”—a practice that brings forth a construction of reality in conjunction to realities of other living and nonliving entities (Gagliano et. al, xix). Philosopher Vinciane Despret describes this “worlding practice” as a way of attending to “what beings evoke from and with each other that was truly not there before” (Haraway 7). This memoir is the unraveling of what was not there before through my kindred relationship to kudzu.
Bowen, Abigail Davidovna, "Making Kin with Kudzu" (2020). English Honors Theses. 31.