Dr Sarah Bezan

Sarah Bezan is a Research Associate on the BIOSEC project, where she researches cultural understandings of species biodiversity in the context of the sixth mass extinction crisis. As an interdisciplinary scholar who works across the arts and sciences, Sarah contributes to the emerging field of extinction studies, which examines the entangled ecological and social dimensions of species loss. Her second monograph in progress, The Extinct Sequence: Species Loss and Revival in a Biotechnological Age, studies the impact of biotechnological advances like de-extinction science, which are radically re-shaping the objectives of conservation programmes around the world. As a whole, this project observes how biotechnologies extend settler-colonial histories of commodification of critically endangered and extinct species, and illuminates how creative and cultural engagements with these histories can in turn inspire new ways of understanding human—animal relationships in the twenty-first century.

In addition to her research on species loss and revival, Sarah is a literary animal studies scholar affiliated with The University of Sheffield Animal Studies Research Centre (ShARC), where she is a former British Academy Newton International Fellow (2018-2020) and Honorary Research Fellow (2020-2023). Her first book, Dead Darwin: Necro-Ecologies in Neo-Victorian Culture, is under advance contract with Manchester University Press (2021). Her editorial work has appeared in a number of venues, including a special issue on “Taxidermic Forms and Fictions” with Susan McHugh in Configurations: Journal of Literature, Science and Technology (2019) and the volume Seeing Animals After Derrida with James Tink published in Lexington Books’s Ecocritical Theory and Practice Series (2017). Together with Professor Robert McKay (co-director of The University of Sheffield Animal Studies Research Centre), Sarah co-organized an international conference on Animal Remains in April 2019 with contributions by leading scholars and creative practitioners. These contributions have now been commissioned into a co-edited volume, Animal Remains, under advance contract with Routledge’s Perspectives on the Nonhuman in Literature and Culture series (2021). Along with these outputs, Sarah is the author of more than a dozen peer-reviewed publications on a wide range of topics, from practices of meat consumption in British fiction to the representation of queer sexualities in Asian-Canadian literature.

Sarah holds a PhD in Literature (2017) from The University of Alberta, Canada and also serves as a Research Associate of the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada-funded project on Digital Animalities at York University in Toronto, Canada. She is currently Primary Investigator on a British Academy & Royal Irish Academy seed funding grant on “Speculative Environments and Prospective Anthropocenes.”

You can follow Sarah on Twitter: @sarahbezan

Sarah’s website: www.sarahbezan.com