Meet the team:

flack-bio pic biggerAndy Flack, Exhibit Curator; also “Keeping the Beasts: Bristol Zoo Gardens in a Wider World”

Dr Andy Flack is a Teaching Fellow in Modern History at the University of Bristol. His interests lie in the fields of imperial, environmental and animal histories and geographies. He has recently published work on celebrity animals in Victorian England, namely Obaysch the celebrity hippopotamus, and on the acquisition and display of animals at Bristol Zoo since 1836. His doctoral work examined the history of human-animal relationships at Bristol Zoo (the oldest provincial zoo in the world), focusing on the wild animal trade, methods of display, scientific and affectionate looking, agency, and death.

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JulieHughes bio - use jpg formatJulie E. Hughes, “Royal Tigers and Indian Princes”

Julie Hughes (PhD, University of Texas at Austin) is Assistant Professor of History at Vassar College. She is the author of Animal Kingdoms: Hunting, the Environment, and Power in the Indian Princely States (Permanent Black, 2012; Harvard University Press, 2013). Her research seeks to explain the interplay between social, political, and ‘natural’ categorizations of people and animals. Currently, she is investigating colonial and post-colonial adoptions of sub-adult tigers, leopards, and other undomesticated carnivores by Indians, Anglo-Indians, and Europeans in South Asia, as well as the purported parallel adoptions of human children by wolves and other wildlife.  Photo courtesy: Vassar College Buck Lewis

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WC-S-PuntCambridge-2011William Gervase Clarence-Smith, “Mules in the ‘English World’: Cultural Rejection versus Practical Utility”

William Gervase Clarence-Smith is Professor of the Economic History of Asia and Africa at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and chief editor of the Journal of Global History (London School of Economics and Political Science, and Cambridge University Press). He has published on the history of horses, mules, donkeys, camels, elephants, and bovids around the Indian Ocean and beyond, as traded commodities, sources of physical and symbolic power, origins of food and raw materials, and bearers of disease. He is currently undertaking research for a global history of mules since circa 1400.
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James Hall profileJames Hall, “The Snake-charmers at the Zoo”

James Hall is a PhD student in the Department of the History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge. My research is concerned with science and imperialism, and especially the significance of human-nonhuman relationships. My thesis considers British attitudes towards – and interactions with – snakes in the nineteenth century, as part of a contribution towards histories of natural history and cultural imperialism.

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Larsson picElle Larsson, “Charles Jamrach’s Exotic Menagerie and the Victorian Wild Animal Trade”

Elle Larsson is currently a postgraduate student at Royal Holloway, University of London on the Public History MA. Her research interests lie broadly in nineteenth and twentieth century British History, with particular regard for social and cultural issues. Recent research has focused upon the expansion of the exotic animal trade in the nineteenth century, looking specifically at the role of businessman and naturalist Charles Jamrach.  Despite being well known to his contemporaries, Jamrach and his business have been the subject of little historical research. The aim of her dissertation was therefore to correct this omission, highlighting both his involvement in the trade and influence upon popular culture.

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Saha picJonathan Saha, “The Marvelous (but Reassuring) Spectacle of Elephants at Work in Colonial Burma”

Dr Jonathan Saha is Lecturer in Modern History at the University of Bristol.  He specialises in the history of nineteenth and twentieth-century colonialism in South and Southeast Asia, focusing particularly on British Burma. Dr. Saha’s research to-date has been into the history of corruption within the colonial state, exploring how the state was experienced and imagined in everyday life. This has recently been published as a monograph titled Law, Disorder and the Colonial State: Corruption in Burma c.1900 with Palgrave Macmillan. He has also published on the topics of crime, medicine and ‘madness’ in colonial Burma. Increasingly, his interests include in the history of animals, particularly the ways in which they shaped, and were shaped by, the colonisation of Burma.

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LKinsley photo

Lesley Kinsley, “Dynamic Dung: Peru’s Guano Birds and the British Empire”

A retired teacher, lecturer and strategic manager, with a background in geography and environmental science, Lesley Kinsley enrolled for a PhD in History at the University of Bristol in 2012. She is currently upgrading from MLitt to PhD with a thesis title of: ‘The Guano Moment: a socio-environmental perspective on changes in mid-nineteenth century British agriculture and attitudes to excrement’. Her research begins in South America with the neo-colonial exploitation of Peruvian guano by the British, particularly the Gibbs family, who owned the monopoly for almost twenty years, and ends at Tyntesfield, the country estate of William Gibbs. He and his son substantially modified the estate using their guano trade profits.

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Medlock picChelsea Medlock, “Kipling’s Menagerie: Human-Animal Relations in the Works of Rudyard Kipling”

Chelsea Medlock received her Bachelor’s degrees from the University of Kansas in modern European history and genetics, her Master’s degree from Oklahoma State University, and is currently working on her doctoral degree in animal history at Oklahoma State University.  She is also a teaching assistant in the Oklahoma State history department.  Medlock has received various research and travel grants, presented numerous conference papers and authored articles, including a  2007 article in Evolution, in collaboration with Dr. Michael Greenfield, on the existence of temperature coupling in Achroia grisella, the lesser wax moth.

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PicHelen Cowie, “‘Poor Dear Jumbo’: Elephants, Empire and Empathy in Victorian Britain”

Dr. Helen Cowie is lecturer in history at the University of York.  Her first book, ‘Conquering Nature in Spain and its Empire, 1750-1850’, was published by Manchester University Press in 2011.  Her second book, ‘Doing a Roaring Trade: Zoos and Menageries in Nineteenth-Century Britain’, is forthcoming with Palgrave Macmillan.  Helen’s research interests include the cultural history of science, the history of leisure and the history of animals.