Dr Sarah Bezan – School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics, The University of Sheffield
Regenesis Aesthetics: Visualizing the Woolly Mammoth in De-Extinction Science
Wednesday 13 February, 1-2pm
Hillary Place SR G.18
Abstract: Examining a range of artistic media that depicts the de-extinction of the woolly mammoth, this talk will explore the resurrective ethos that undergirds what I have termed “regensis aesthetics.” In calling upon the title of George Church’s co-authored book, Regenesis: How Synthetic Biology Will Reinvent Nature, regenesis aesthetics explores the jointly scientific and artistic remaking of the beginning and end of species in the paleontological imagination. Through an iconographical analysis of hyper-realistic digital images, naturalistic paintings, and speculative exhibitions by artists Chris Buzelli, Raúl Martin, Lisel Ashlock, and the artist collective at The Centre for Genomic Gastronomy, this talk will illuminate the creativity and variability of de-extinction science itself, which inspires the reanimation of the woolly mammoth in pictures and (ostensibly in the near future) in the flesh.
Bio: Sarah Bezan is a Newton International Fellow at The University of Sheffield Animal Studies Research Centre. She is the co-editor of Seeing Animals After Derrida (Lexington Books Ecocritical Theory & Practice Series, 2018) and a forthcoming special issue of Configurations: Journal of Literature, Science, and Technology on “Taxidermic Forms and Fictions” (March 2019). Her current research project, Regenesis Aesthetics: The Art and Literature of De-Extinction Science, focuses on visual cultures of extinction and species revivalism in contemporary literature and art.