Archive for September, 2012

Alex Hankinson (English) has asked us to read Thomas Erskine’s 1809 speech in the house of peers against cruelty to animals (download). Alex will be discussing some of the ways the text relates to her research, particularly the notion of animals as property.

Mollie Duggins (Art History) will speak on  ‘Zoological Sensations in the Antipodean Album: The Allport Family Scrapbook, Tasmania, 1840s-1870s’ (download). Mollie will be focusing on the Allport scrapbook, a collaborative project among members of the Allport family who arrived in Van Diemen’s Land from England in 1831. It was compiled from the 1840s through the 1870s and features a dynamic combination of photographs, watercolors, newspaper illustrations, and chromolithographs.  Arranged in a series of collage compositions that foreshadow twentieth-century surrealism, representations of zoological specimens are intriguingly juxtaposed in the album with cut-out human figures from contemporary illustrated periodicals. Focusing on the repeated lack of differentiated space between animals and  humans in the Allport scrapbook collages, Mollie will attempt to read these compositions in light of such taxonomic crises and their representation in the popular illustrated press in which they were subsumed in a rich visual tradition of caricature that merged man and animal in both physical form and social behaviour.

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