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Winged Geographies: Birds in Space and Imagination

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Cambridge

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CAMBRIDGE

CB23EN

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Winged Geographies is a two-days academic workshop that will address the question of our evolving spatial relationships with birdlife. The presence of birds and their song has long shaped human experience and conceptualisation of the skies, the countryside as well as urban and domestic environments.

Birds have been collected, traded and re-contextualised across territories. Their migrations have inspired new kinds of human connections, both psychic and physical. How have birds been part of human efforts to make sense of terrestrial and avian spaces and places? Such a question implicates all kinds of actors: gardeners, scholars, pilots, naturalists, children, writers and philosophers. Aristophanes’ play The Birds saw two frustrated Athenians join with the birds to build a utopian city in the clouds, a new republic where ‘Wisdom, Grace and Love pervade the scene’. Steven Feld’s work with the Kaluli people of Papua New Guinea showed that the avian voices heard in the forest defined an entire cultural and spiritual realm. Today, birds increasingly draw attention as indicators of environmental crisis. In the Anthropocene, are the much-loved imaginative and metaphorical readings of bird life still culturally productive or dangerously retrograde?

Keynote speakers will be Rachel Mundy (Assistant Professor of Music, Rutgers University, USA) and Dolly Jørgensen (Professor of History, University of Stavanger, Norway). Organisers: Olga Petri, Leverhulme Trust Early Career Research Fellow, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge; Michael Guida, Research Associate and Tutor, Department of Media & Cultural Studies, University of Sussex.

International scholars from geography, history, animal studies, anthropology, ornithology, environmental humanities, STS and cultural studies contribute to the workshop. For more information on the program, please: visit https://www.wingedgeographies.co.uk/

Tickets are free, but places are limited and will be allocated on a first come first serve basis. Lunch and refreshments will be provided; please email the organizer directly (op257@cam.ac.uk) to outline any food preferences and allergies.

Funding for this workshop is supported by the Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship led by Olga Petri at the University of Cambridge.





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Cambridge

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CAMBRIDGE

CB23EN

United Kingdom

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