HomeSeason 1 Recordings

Season 1 Recordings

Session 1: Extinction

Contesting Uncertain Futures in El Museo del Bucardo

Adam Searle is a cultural and environmental geographer whose research broadly examines the relations of humans, other species, and technologies. He is a co-founding member of the Digital Ecologies research group and the co-editor of Digital Ecologies, which will be published by Manchester University Press in 2023.

The Inevitable Dinosaur Extinction: Mesozoic Storytelling with the Asteroid of Damocles

Will Tattersdill is Lecturer in Popular Literature, Liberal Arts, and Natural Sciences at the University of Birmingham, UK, where he is lead of the Lit Sci Lab and teaches genre fiction, Victorian studies, and interdisciplinary theory.

Is it real?

Isla Gladstone is Senior Curator for the natural science collections at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery. Her current work focuses on the contemporary relevance of these collections in the context of environmental crisis. Isla led intervention Extinction Voices in 2019 and is now leading a project called Extinction Silences 2022-24 exploring intersections with decolonial practice. She is current Chair of the Natural Sciences Collections Association (NatSCA).

Playing with extinction

Dolly Jørgensen is Professor of History, University of Stavanger, Norway specializing in histories of environment and technology. Her current research agenda focuses on cultural histories of animal extinction, and she recently published Recovering Lost Species in the Modern Age: Histories of Longing and Belonging (MIT Press, 2019). She is co-editor-in-chief of the journal Environmental Humanities and co-directs The Greenhouse Center for Environmental Humanities at UiS.

Chair: Verity Burke (Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellow, Trinity College Dublin)

Session 2: Digital Media

Bringing the Dead Zoo to life

Paolo Viscardi is Deputy Keeper of Natural History at the National Museum of Ireland (NMI). He has over 20 years’ experience of engaging people with natural science using museum collections through a range of approaches, including exhibitions, performance, traditional media and online platforms.

Socially Mediating Animals in Exhibiting Digital Animalities

Matthew Brower is the author of Exhibiting Digital Animalities (Public Books, 2021) and Developing Animals (University of Minnesota Press, 2010). In addition to co-curating Digital Animalities: Mapping and Digital Animalities: Rendering with Giovanni Aloi, he has produced several significant exhibitions of contemporary art including Through The Body: Lens-based works by Contemporary Chinese Women Artists (Art Museum University of Toronto 2014), Mediated Memory (National Art Museum, Beijing 2015), and Threatened, Endangered, Extinct: Contemporary Printmakers Confront Species Loss (Open Studio, 2014). Currently, he is the Governance and Programs Officer for the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto.

Collecting the Anthropocene: On a digital and multi-perspective collection experiment

Elisabeth Heyne
is currently leading the project “Changing Natures. Collecting the Anthropocene Together” at the Natural History Museum in Berlin, a collaborative project with the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle Paris. Until 2020, she was a postdoctoral research associate at the professorial chair for media studies and modern German literature at Technische Universität Dresden. After studying Comparative Literature and French Philology in Berlin, Paris and Córdoba (Spain), she received her PhD in 2018 from the University of Basel, Switzerland and Technical University Dresden with a thesis on Science of the Imaginary. Visual, Experimental, Reading and Collection Practices of Roger Caillois and Elias Canetti (DeGruyter 2020). Her research focuses on the interface of biology, ethnology and literature, history of science, on concepts of nature and culture in the Anthropocene and the imaginary of the Amazon. She occasionally translates French fiction and non-fiction.

The use of digital media in a narrative space

Marijke Besselink is Scientific Content Developer in Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden, The Netherlands, with a long record of exhibition making. She translates science into stories that connect the museum collections to the audience. For the new Naturalis (2019) she developed concepts and themes for the exhibition halls: Life, Death and Evolution. 

Chair: Finn Arne Jørgensen (Co-Director of the Greenhouse Center for Environmental Humanities, Universitet I Stavanger)

Session 3: Non-Human Life

Dead as a Dodo? Replicas, Reanimation and Re-Creation Taxidermy

Verity Burke is an interdisciplinary scholar working at the intersections of literary analysis, the environmental humanities, and museum studies. The Irish Research Council funds her current project at Trinity College Dublin, Still Lives: Organic and Digital Animals in the Natural History Museum, which examines the dialogue between analogue and digital technologies of animal visualisation in their museum context. Her wider research considers museum representations of non-human life that do not contain animal remains, from death masks to virtual tours. Previously, she has worked as research associate on funded projects which investigate intermedial storytelling in the display cultures of our natural history museums, including Building the Book of Nature: the Poetics of the Natural History Museum (SSHRC, Mount Allison/University of Birmingham), Narrativising Dinosaurs: Science and Popular Culture, 1850-Present (AHRC, University of Birmingham) and Beyond Dodos and Dinosaurs: Displaying Extinction and Recovery in Museums (NFR, University of Stavanger).

Mediating Gender and Genre in the Blaschka Models

Pandora Syperek is Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the Institute for Design Innovation, Loughborough University London, and Visiting Fellow at the V&A Research Institute. Her research examines the intersections of science, gender and the nonhuman within modern and contemporary art and cultures of display. She has published numerous book chapters and journal articles and is co-editor of Oceans (Whitechapel Gallery/MIT Press, forthcoming 2023) and a special issue of the Journal of Curatorial Studies on ‘Curating the Sea’ (2020), both with Sarah Wade. From 2016-2017 Pandora was postdoctoral fellow at the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, and she holds a PhD in the History of Art from University College London.

What is Taxidermy? An intimate relationship between death and maker. 

Jazmine Miles Long is a taxidermist, artist and educator. Only working with animals that have died from natural causes. Working with museums to create ethically sourced bespoke taxidermy for institutions including The Wellcome Trust, NHM London, National Museum of Ireland, UCL, RAMM, Brighton & Hove Museums, Manchester Museum and many others. Jazmine has lectured for UCL, NatSCA, The Open University, British Art Network, Tate, Towner Art Gallery, Cambridge University Museums, Reading University among others. In 2021 Jazmine was awarded an Arts Council England grant to explore and develop stable, ethical and sustainable alternative materials for use within taxidermy manufacture. Jazmine presented her research at SPNHC 2022.

A story untold is a story lost

Martyn Linnie is Curator of the Zoological Museum, Trinity College Dublin.  He has over 20 years experience in museum governance, care, and development with a strong emphasis on education, research and the delivery of outreach programmes. Module lecturer in entomology, history of museums and collections care. Experienced conservator in all aspects of zoology-based collections, including skeletal, mounted, glass and wet collections. Established peer-reviewed publication record. Occasional media contributor (press, radio and social).

FlyOver Halls: “plant blindness” in natural history museums

Nuala Caomhánach is a PhD candidate in the Department of History at New York University, and a research scientist in the Invertebrate Department at the American Museum of Natural History. Her dissertation “Curating Madagascar: The Rise of Phylogenetics in an Age of Climate Change, 1920-2023” examines the relationship between scientific knowledge, climate change, and conservation law in Madagascar. This project illuminates how changes in botanical science have affected international conservation ideology, policy, and practice. Additionally, Nuala is a contributing editor at the Journal of the History of Ideas Blog, and co-produces the Not That Kind of Doctor podcast that invites PhD students to discuss their research.

Tim Stott, Associate Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art History, Head of Department of the History of Art and Architecture

Session 4: Decolonising

Displaying Power: Towards decolonial interpretations of natural history museums

Subhadra Das is a researcher and storyteller who looks at the relationship between science and society. She specialises in the history and philosophy of science, particularly the history of scientific racism and eugenics, and what those histories mean for our lives today. For nine years, she was Curator of the Science Collections at University College London, and also Researcher in Critical Eugenics at the Sarah Parker Remond Centre for the Study of Racism and Racialisation. She has written and presented podcasts, curated museum exhibitions, done stand-up comedy and regularly appears on radio and tv. Her first book, (Un)Civilised: 10 Lies That Made The West comes out in May 2023.

How natural is it to find “trophies” in a mammal collection?

Catarina Madruga is a historian of zoological collections and empire, working as postdoc researcher on the project “Colonial Provenances of Nature. The expansion of the mammal collection at the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin, around 1900″ funded by the Deutsches Zentrum Kulturgutverluste (German Lost Art Foundation), and hosted at Humanities of Nature, Museum für Naturkunde Berlin, Leibniz-Institut für Evolutions- und Biodiversitätsforschung. Currently developing provenance methods for colonial natural history collections, Madruga is preparing with Déborah Dubald (Université de Strasbourg) a special issue for the Journal for the History of Knowledge, under the title “Situated Nature: Field Collecting and Local Knowledge in the Nineteenth Century” (forthcoming, November 2022). She is the author of a PhD in History and Philosophy of Sciences (2020) with the title “Taxonomy and Empire. Zoogeographical knowledge on Portuguese Africa, 1862-1881.”

Rewriting Memory: Time and Extinction in Fiona Tan’s Depot (2015)

Deborah Schrijvers is an Ad Astra PhD student at University College Dublin, in the School of English, Drama and Film as part of the Environmental Humanities strand. She holds a Bachelor in Philosophy and Literary Studies and a Research Master in Literary Studies. For her PhD project, she researches extinction narratives with an emphasis on gender, race and decolonisation through analysis of contemporary and transnational film and art.

Deconstructing Dolphin Head Mountain and Defences of Animals 

Harun Morrison and Jo Hatton 

Harun Morrison is an artist and writer based on the River Lea and Regent’s Canal. He is currently an associate artist with Greenpeace UK and Designer and Researcher in Residence at V&A Dundee. His forthcoming novel, The Escape Artist will be published by Book Works in 2023/24. In 2021, Harun was awarded the Decolonising Natural History commission and residency supported by the Horniman and Delfina Foundation, as part of their Collecting as Practice Programme, where he produced the collaborative work Dolphin Head Mountain. Since 2006, Harun has collaborated with Helen Walker as part of the collective practice They Are Here. He is a former trustee of the Black Cultural Archive (est. 1981). Instagram @harunishere 

Jo Hatton is Principal Curator of Natural Sciences at the Horniman Museum and Gardens in South East London, current holder of the Museum of the Year award. She is responsible for the development, research and interpretation of the collection in the context of the climate and ecological crisis, and its colonial legacies. Jo has worked extensively with contemporary artists to breathe new life and perspectives into the Museum and Natural History Gallery, and is currently leading on the re-display of the gallery, as part of the Horniman’s NHLF funded Nature + Love Project

Chair: Poul Holm, Director of Trinity Centre for Environmental Humanities