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Strange and Unstable Bodies: Shifting Materialities in Early American Natural History Correspondence Networks

My current project investigates what happens to animal bodies when naturalists incorporate them into the discourse and networks of natural history. Employing animal studies, posthumanism, and new materialism, I contend that, within natural history’s correspondence networks, there occurs a constant circulation both of ideas and information, as well as materials and bodies. Attending to this circulation and how it affects and is affected by nonhuman bodies shows how the shifting materiality of animal bodies in natural history results in changing forms of nonhuman agency, creaturehood, and a reevaluation of how humans construct knowledge from the material world.

Mark Catesby, from The Natural History of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahama Islands (1754)



Early American Literature

Ph.D. English.

University of Texas at Arlington

Committee: Stacy Alaimo (Chair), Desiree Henderson, Neill Matheson, and Cedrick May

May 2016.


Animal Studies


Digital Humanities and Media Theory

M.A. English.

University of Texas of the Permian Basin.

May 2011.

B.A. Literary Studies.

University of Texas at Dallas.

May 2009.

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