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The Animals in That Country - Q&A with Laura Jean McKay

26 April 2022
Video from the online Q&A.


André Krebber, ‘Zoological Decolonizations of the European Subject’

19 October 2021
Virtual presentation hosted by Daniel Bowman and Christie Oliver-Hobley, University of Sheffield, UK

André Krebber is a lecturer and assistant professor in social and cultural history (human-animal studies) at the University of Kassel. His research interests span animal and environmental history; the history of knowledge, ideas and theory; the history of science and philosophy; theory and philosophy of history; critical theory; and aesthetics. Abstract for this talk is available on its event page.


Lucinda Cole, ‘Plagues, Poisons, Dead Rats: In Search of A Medical Posthumanities’

This is a talk by Lucinda Cole (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), delivered as part of ShARC’s Animal Remains conference (2019).

Anglo-European history is full of failed attempts to eradicate increasingly global rat populations - often through poisons - in the name of human health. Even before being identified as vectors for bubonic plague in the late nineteenth century, rats were regarded as “vermin” and marked for death. Focusing on shipboard rats in literature and natural philosophy, Lucinda Cole traces some of this history, and considers the possibility of a multispecies, ecological approach to our real and imagined “vermin problem.”

Thom van Dooren, ‘Moving Birds in Hawai’i: Assisted colonisation in a colonised land’

This is a talk by Thom van Dooren (University of Sydney), delivered as part of ShARC’s Animal Remains conference (2019).

In September 2011, a delicate cargo of 24 Nihoa Millerbirds was carefully loaded by conservationists onto a ship for a three-day voyage to Laysan Island in the remote Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. The goal of this translocation was to establish a second population of this endangered species, an “insurance population” in the face of the mounting pressures of climate change and potential new biotic arrivals. But the millerbird, or ulūlu in Hawaiian, is just one of many avian species to become the subject of this kind of “assisted colonisation.”

In Hawai’i, and around the world, recent years have seen a broad range of efforts to safeguard species by finding them homes in new places. Thinking through the ulūlu project, this lecture explores the challenges and possibilities of assisted colonisation in a colonised land.

What does it mean to move birds in the context of the long, and ongoing, history of dispossession of the Kānaka Maoli, the Native Hawaiian people? How are distinct but entangled process of colonisation, of unworlding, at work in the lives of both people and birds? Ultimately, this lecture explores how these diverse colonisations might be understood and told responsibly in an era of escalating loss and extinction.