Meet the PhD Jury: Dolly Jørgensen, “Encountering Extinction as Heritage”

Meet the PhD Jury: Dolly Jørgensen, “Encountering Extinction as Heritage”

On Thursday 6 October 2022 Professor Dolly Jørgensen of the University of Stavanger, a leading environmental historian and journal editor, will be giving a public lecture on “Encountering Extinction as Heritage” followed by a meet-and-greet session with PhD students, postdocs, and senior researchers. The lecture and meet-and-greet are sponsored by Ghent University’s Doctoral School of Arts, Humanities, and Law as a “Meet the PhD Jury” activity.


  • Event date: Thursday 6 October 2022, 2.00 p.m. – 3.30 p.m.
  • Location: Campus Boekentoren, Blandijnberg 2, Auditorium 2 Franz Cumont (ground floor)
  • Title: Encountering Extinction as Heritage
  • Abstract: We are currently living through a major extinction event with vast numbers of species across the planet rapidly becoming extinct because of human actions, from climate change to habitat conversion to pollution. The high number of species either recently extinct or facing imminent extinction and the great speed at which extermination is happening even exceeds the most well-studied extinction event—the dinosaur extinction at the end of the Cretaceous period. At least 322 vertebrates are known to have become extinct since 1500, and many more invertebrates and plants. How can the remains of those extinct species be understood in a heritage context? In this talk, I will discuss the heritage implications of encountering extinct specimens on display. Through the examples of the thylacine of Australia and the dodo of Mauritius, I will discuss how the remnants of these animals—bodies, drawings, and stories—are mobilized in geographically-specific cultural heritage narratives within the museum walls and beyond them. These difficult animal extinction histories are intertwined with cultural histories, through which they become an important cultural heritage.
  • BioDolly Jørgensen is Professor of History at the University of Stavanger, Norway. She is a co-editor-in-chief of the journal Environmental Humanities and co-directs The Greenhouse Center for Environmental Humanities at UiS. Her current research agenda focuses on cultural histories of animal extinction and recovery, particularly the implications of extinction for cultural heritage and museum practices. Her book Recovering Lost Species in the Modern Age: Histories of Longing and Belonging was published by MIT Press in 2019. She has published widely in environmental history and environmental humanities, including four co-edited volumes: New Natures: Joining Environmental History with Science and Technology Studies (2013); Northscapes: History, Technology & the Making of Northern Environments (2013); Visions of North in Premodern Europe (2018); and Silver Linings: Clouds in Art & Science (2020).
  • All are welcome. Admission is free, and registration is not required.


  • Event date: Thursday 6 October 2022, 3.30 p.m. – 4.30 p.m.
  • Location: Campus Boekentoren, Blandijnberg 2, Faculty Room (first floor, right above the main entrance)
  • This is an informal networking event for PhD students, postdocs, and senior scholars working on or interested in environmental humanities and/or memory studies The idea is for you to briefly introduce yourself and your research to Professor Jørgensen and each other. Professor Jørgensen would also be happy to answer any questions you may have about publishing in the leading journal Environmental Humanities, of which she is a co-editor in chief. This is a unique opportunity to interact with a cutting-edge scholar that you do not want to miss.
  • All are welcome. Admission is free, and registration is not required.

For more information, please contact Stef Craps.