Alison Grace Laurence

Alison Grace Laurence


"I am a cultural historian with research interests in museums and the more-than-human world. I write about dinosaurs, deep time, and the politics of display. I’ve got a side project on Bigfoot, too. During my college years, I spent summers at home in Chicago interning at the Field Museum of Natural History by day. (By night, I worked in an ice cream shop.) It was during my time at the museum—studying the taxidermy, examining exhibit text, visiting with SUE the T. rex—that I began to think critically about how we apprehend histories beyond the human.

"Before coming to Stanford, I earned a Ph.D. from MIT’s interdisciplinary History, Anthropology, and Science, Technology, and Society program. I also have degrees in Public History and Classics (Latin & Ancient Greek). Though not exactly raised by wolves, I did grow up with dogs in place of siblings."

Alison Laurence is a Lecturer in Civic, Liberal, and Global Education. She received her PhD from MIT’s interdisciplinary program in History, Anthropology, and Science, Technology, and Society (HASTS) in 2019. A cultural and environmental historian, she specializes in the study of nature on display. Her current book manuscript--Of Dinosaurs and Culture Wars: Extinction, Extraction, and Modern American Monsters--traces how popular displays transformed dinosaurs and other creatures of deep time from scientific specimens to consumer objects and artifacts of everyday American life. Alison’s work has appeared in the Science Museum Group Journal, the History of Anthropology Newsletter, and the Anthropocene Curriculum. She holds a BA in Classics from Brown University and an MA in History and Public History from the University of New Orleans.During the 2021-22 academic year, she is teaching "Stories Everywhere," "Design That Understands Us," "The Meat We Eat," and a new IntroSem called "Animal Archives."

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