Guest lecture on animal histories, Sept. 29

The History Department at Cal Poly Humboldt is excited to host Dr. Daniel Vandersommers, one of the pioneers in the new field of Zoo Studies, for a talk titled “Following Runaway Animals: Stories from the Zoo for Wilding History,” which will take place Friday, September 29, from 5-7 p.m. in Founders Hall 118.

What is Zoo Studies? “Zoo studies considers the modern zoo from a range of approaches and disciplines, united in a desire to blur the boundaries between human and nonhuman animals.”

Dr. Vandersommers is an assistant professor of environmental history at the University of Dayton.  He teaches classes on animal history, climate history, wilderness history, and the history of ecological thought.  His research combines environmental history, animal studies, science studies, and posthumanism.

Vandersommers began his college career as a Biology major before switching to History with a minor in Political Science. He received his Ph.D. in Early American History from the Ohio State University. He was a NEH Postdoctoral Fellow at the Consortium for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine in Philadelphia, and an SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow in Animal History at MacMaster University in Ontario, Canada.

He is co-editor-in-chief of Animal History, the first journal in the field of Zoo Studies, which will launch in the next few months with the University of California Press. His publications include Zoo Studies: A New Humanities (2019) **Winner of the Choice Outstanding Academic Title” award for 2020.  Vandersommers is currently at work on two projects: a study of how racial violence shaped zoological thought and vice versa; and a history of veterinary medicine and its influences on human medicine.  Finally, he is planning a book on the global history of goldfish. 

This event is open to Cal Poly Humboldt students, faculty, staff and the community. Persons who wish to request disability related accommodations should contact the History Department at 707-826-3641 or as soon as possible.