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BASN Neighbours

Biographies of the Speakers


The Plenaries


Maan Barua works on the politics, economies and ontologies of the living and material world. He is the author of Lively Cities: Reconfiguring Urban Ecology published by the University of Minnesota Press (2023).  Maan is the PI on the ERC Horizon 2020 Urban Ecologies project and is a lecturer in geography at the University of Cambridge.  His second monograph, Plantation Worlds, will be published by Duke University Press in August 2024.


Isabel Galleymore teaches at the University of Birmingham. Her first collection, Significant Other (Carcanet), won the John Pollard Foundation International Poetry Prize in 2020 and her second collection, Baby Schema (Carcanet) was a PBS Recommendation in 2024. Her poems have featured in Poetry, Times Literary Supplement, The New York Review of Books and the London Review of Books and broadcast on BBC Radio 4. She has co-edited a book of insect poetry for children, published by The Emma Press. She is an Associate Professor in Creative Writing at the University of Birmingham and a Walter Jackson Bate Fellow at Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study, Harvard University 2022-23. In 2023 she was awarded an AHRC Research, Development and Engagement Fellowship for her project ‘Cuteness in Contemporary Environmental Culture: Developing Ecopoetic Practice’.


Susan Richardson (via zoom) is a writer, performer and educator whose fourth poetry collection, Words the Turtle Taught Me, which emerged from her residency with the Marine Conservation Society, was shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award. In addition to her ongoing residency with the British Animal Studies Network, she is poet-in-residence with the global animal welfare initiative, World Animal Day. Susan has performed her work on BBC2, Radio 3, Radio 4 and at festivals from Hay to Adelaide. She is currently writing a work of creative non-fiction, blending natural history and travel, science and shamanism, memoir and myth.


Panel 1


Marissa Crannell-Ash is a PhD candidate at the University of Rochester in New York as well as an Andrew W. Mellon Digital Humanities Fellow. Her dissertation is located at the intersection of medieval and environmental history, where she explores the circumstances surrounding the executions of pigs in late medieval Burgundy and examines the ways in which pigs were tacit community members.


Dr Hannah Fair is a Departmental Lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Oxford specialising in contemporary nature-society relations. She completed her PhD at University College London in 2018, followed by postdoctoral research at Brunel University London. At the heart of her research are questions of how to live well with anthropogenically transformed and transforming natures. She critically situates her work in the overarching framework of the Anthropocene and draw upon decolonial, feminist, queer and more-than-human approaches. She is an active member of the Royal Geographical Society's Animal Geography Working Group. Her current research project - Changing Landscapes of Domestic Pest Management - is funded by the Oxford University Press John Fell Fund.


Panel 2


Andrew Gardiner is a practicing vet, historian of veterinary medicine and specialist in animal welfare science, ethics and law. He is interested in all aspects of human-animal interaction especially the nature of veterinary patient-hood and the development of veterinary medicine as a discipline. After 15 years in general practice and further qualification in surgery, he undertook a Master’s and PhD in veterinary history funded by the Wellcome Trust Medical Humanities programme, before joining the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies as a clinical lecturer. His research and teaching includes basic veterinary sciences (anatomy), veterinary general practice and access to veterinary care, particularly for underserved communities, contextual veterinary care, and practical ethics, as well as veterinary history and the emerging veterinary medical humanities.


Ruby Sleigh’s work brings a deep-seated veganism into collaboration with architecture to explore the power and agency of spatial design. Her practice values spatial literacy as a core component of dismantling harmful power structures and constructs; the design of diverse interspecies living environments as crucial for restorative, retributive and liberating multi-species communities. Her academic work spans various aspects of spatial injustice towards other animals, exploring opportunities to build alternative futures. Intersections explored housing typologies for multi-species living, reserving crawl spaces, deep eaves, corridors and textured facades for appropriation by non-human others. Her postgraduate dissertation The Unseen Labour Force explored the spatial harms incurred upon non-human and human workers in the industrial dairy industries. Her final thesis, Cultural Cultivation, re-designed aquaculture as a regenerative culturing of seaweed, exploring the cultural significance of food and an architectural invitation/persuasion of reform. As a practising architect, she challenges the constraints of regulatory and professional environments to extend an architecture of care towards non-human others. She is currently working on a regenerative roof design that invites diverse inhabitation, as well as an urban habitat generation and social infrastructure project that overwrites a former rooftop car park. She is a co-ordinator for the Architect’s Climate Action Network Ecology group, advocating for ecological justice within built environment policy and practice through workshops, guidance documents, support groups and lobbying. Critical writing also runs continuously throughout her practice, including publications in the Sloth Journal (2020), Field Journal (2022) and self-published works.

Panel 3

Hannah Mortimer is a postgraduate researcher based in the Centre for Rural Policy Research at the University of Exeter, and a member of The Animal Feeding Project, a multi-disciplinary project which investigates the causes and consequences of feeding animals on the health of humans, animals and the environment. Her research interests include human-animal interactions, animal welfare, the ‘good farmer’ concept and rewilding. Her research explores human-animal interactions and animal feeding practices on regenerative farms in Devon, including how these relate to the ‘good farmer’ concept and practices of care. She has recently completed a year of ethnographic fieldwork working with animals and their carers on livestock farms in Devon, observing their interactions through all four seasons of the year. She is particularly interested in how multiple aspects of care within regenerative agriculture can exist simultaneously, including: intimate caring practices (such as bottle feeding lambs and calves), care for the environment, especially wildlife and soil (through environmental stewardship and conservation), care for livestock (through husbandry and feeding); care farming (combining food production with health and/or social care for people). These different but related aspects of care are viewed positively by regenerative farmers and as part of good farming practices.

Diogo de Carvalho Cabral is an Assistant Professor in Environmental History and a member of the Trinity Centre for Environmental Humanities (TCEH) at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. He is the author of Na Presença da Floresta: Mata Atlântica e História Colonial (Rio de Janeiro, 2014) and co-edited Metamorfoses Florestais: Culturas, Ecologias e as Transformações Históricas da Mata Atlântica (Curitiba, 2016) with Ana Bustamante. His article “Into the bowels of tropical earth: Leaf-cutting ants and the colonial making of agrarian Brazil” was awarded the 2015 Journal of Historical Geography Best Paper Prize. Dr de Carvalho Cabral’s research focuses on multiple topics at the intersection of Geography, Environmental History, Multispecies Studies and Landscape Ecology, with an emphasis on nonhuman agency and multispecies entanglements. His next book, More-Than-Human Histories of Latin America and the Caribbean: Decentring the Human in Environmental History, was co-edited with André Vital and Margarita Gascón and is due to appear in early 2024 (University of London Press).    

Dr Djoeke van Netten is Associated Professor Early Modern History at the University of Amsterdam. Her research is at the crossroads of the history of knowledge, maritime history and the history of printed books and maps, with a focus on the Dutch Republic. Djoeke defended her PhD at the University of Groningen (dissertation published as Koopman in Kennis 2014) and 2014-2019 carried out her own project “Hide and Leak” on secrecy and openness in the early Dutch overseas companies, funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO). She is relatively new to (and very enthusiastic about) animal history. Her earlier work on knowledge practices regarding the first Dutch travels to China (not all of the reaching China) spurred questions about the natural surroundings these explorers encountered, thus entered the polar bear. Moreover, she weaved many animals in the World History course for first-year history students she designed and became part of the faculty’s Environment&Society research group. In October 2023 she organised a successful interdisciplinary conference on “early modern animals in the Low Countries”. Due to an NWO-Aspasia grant, in the next four years she can travel easily for research and conferences abroad.


Thom Rath specializes in modern Latin American history and is interested in how governments govern people, places, nature, and the past. His research and teaching traverses political, social, military and environmental history and aims to highlight Latin America's connections to big global processes. He wrote The Dread Plague and the Cow Killers: The Politics of Animal Disease in Mexico and the World (Cambridge University Press, 2022), which examines how a huge international campaign against animal disease reshaped Mexican politics, society, science and the wider world. He is currently working on several things: a collaborative project with colleagues at Warwick, Puebla, and Mexican Intercultural Universities, investigating the origins and impact of little known massacre of c.300 indigenous farmers at Monte de Chila, Puebla, in 1970; a history of the use of atomic energy in pest control; a history of how international organizations thought about and shaped non-human animals, focusing on the case of Latin America.


Panel 4


Design Historian Dr Catherine Sidwell trained as a Curator in local history museums and at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Following curatorial consultancy work for the National Trust in Australia, as an Exhibitions and Projects Manager for the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, with collections of applied arts and sciences, she enjoyed working as part of dedicated and diverse teams to deliver over thirty projects: permanent galleries, temporary, and touring exhibitions. As Senior Project Manager for Exhibitions at the British Museum, Catherine contributed to the development of First Emperor and Hadrian. As a TECHNE scholar she completed her PhD as part of the Modern Interiors Research Centre, Kingston School of Art, Kingston University, London in 2023. Catherine is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and during her studies, taught Critical and Historical Studies to BA Fashion and Interior Design Students at Kingston School of Art. As Senior Archivist for Sanderson Design Group, Catherine recently oversaw the digitisation of archive collections and assisted designers with selecting designs for new collections.


Ezgi Hamzaçebi is a lecturer at Özyeğin University and a PhD candidate in Turkish Language and Literature at Bogazici University. Her research areas include Animal Studies, Ecocriticism, Posthumanism, and Monster Studies. She completed her Master’s thesis, titled “The Literary Representation of the Non-human: An Ecocritical Approach To Yere Düşen Dualar and Yeryüzü Halleri '' in 2017. She was co-organizer of the conference series, held at Boğaziçi University between 2017-2019,  “Interdisciplinary Eco-ethical Encounters”. She is writing her dissertation on monstrous bodies in feminist and queer speculative fiction in Turkish. Besides the ethical representation of more than human worlds, she is interested in the question of science and the feminist ways of knowledge production. She is the co-editor of the book titled Sosyal Bilimler Ne İşe Yarar? (What Is the Function of Social Sciences?) that was published by Bogazici University Press. She has book chapters in Animals, Plants, and Landscapes: An Ecology of Turkish Literature and Film (Routledge, 2019); Turkish Ecocriticism: From Neolithic to Contemporary Timescapes (Lexington Books, 2020); and Gaflet: Modern Türkçe Edebiyatın Cinsiyetçi Sinir Uçları (Metis, 2019).


Canadian-born, Glasgow-based composer and researcher Dr Emily Doolittle’s music has been described as “masterful” (Musical Toronto), “eloquent and effective,” and “the piece that grabbed me by the heart” (The WholeNote). She has an ongoing interest in zoomusicology— the relationship between animal songs and music—which she explores in both her composition and through interdisciplinary collaboration with biologists. Recent activities include the premiere of Reedbird, commissioned and performed by the Vancouver Symphony, performances of her chamber opera Jan Tait and the Bear by Ensemble Thing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in the Made in Scotland Showcase, and the premiere of Bowheads, commissioned by Chamber Music Scotland for the Kapten Trio. She is currently working on a set of pieces based on Sephardic and Spanish poetry about nightingale song for the early music ensemble La Cigale in Montreal. Emily is an Athenaeum Research Fellow and Lecturer in Composition at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.


Alex South is a musician and researcher whose practice focuses on contemporary and improvised music, and on multispecies musicking. Based in Scotland, he regularly plays clarinet and bass clarinet with Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra, Collective Endeavours, and Ensemble Thing. In Alex’s doctoral research with composer Emily Doolittle at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and biologists Luke Rendell and Ellen Garland at the University of St Andrews, he used scientific and musicological tools to deepen our insight into humpback whale song rhythms. His musical output includes pieces jointly composed with Katherine Wren (Nordic Viola). Their CETACEA, inspired by Lesley Harrison’s poem of the same name, was referred to as “keening lines of whale song; a beautiful study” by The Wire. Other works by Alex have been performed by Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra, Sequoia, and St Andrews Chamber Orchestra, and featured in ‘The Musical Animal’, broadcast in 2022 in Canada by the CBC

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