University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Department of Geography - Seminars in Cultural and Historical Geography > Taxidermy, Longing, and Beastly Allure

Taxidermy, Longing, and Beastly Allure

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During her post-doctoral fellowship at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Rachel Poliquin delved into the strangely alluring world of taxidermy with a book, a blog, and an exhibition.  Her book Taxidermy and Longing (Penn State Press 2012) explores the cultural history and poetic resonance of taxidermy from its rudimentary beginnings in cabinets of wonder to its revival in contemporary art.  From hunting trophies to extinct species and kitten weddings to perpetual pets, Taxidermy and Longing examines the meaning and matter of preserved animal-things and why anyone would want them to exist.

With a background in visual arts and the cultural history of science, Rachel Poliquin is a writer and curator dedicated to exploring all things orderly and disorderly in the natural world.  Her recent projects have focussed on the cultural history of taxidermy.  In 2009, Poliquin curated the exhibition “Ravishing Beasts: The Strangely Alluring World of Taxidermy” at the Museum of Vancouver, and in 2010, she wrote and designed the vertebrate exhibits for the Beaty Biodiversity Museum at the University of British Columbia. Poliquin also maintains the taxidermy blog www.ravishingbeasts.com.  

This talk is part of the Department of Geography - Seminars in Cultural and Historical Geography series.

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