Keynote Speakers, Organisers, and Partners
This page offers some information about the conference keynote speakers, the organisers of the conference, and some of the organisations and funders that are supporting it, directly or indirectly.
Stephen Moss is one of Britain's leading nature writers and broadcasters. Now based in Somerset, he was born in London, and read English at Cambridge before joining the BBC. His TV credits include the BAFTA award-winning Springwatch, The Nature of Britain, and Birds Britannia, while his books include Wild Hares and Hummingbirds, 'biographies' of the Robin, Wren, Swallow, Swan and Owl, and Ten Birds that Changed the World. He writes a monthly 'Birdwatch' column for The Guardian, is President of the Somerset Wildlife Trust, and teaches an MA in Nature and Travel Writing at Bath Spa University. A lifelong naturalist, Stephen has travelled to all seven of the world's continents in search of wildlife.
Anne Secord has spent most of her career in Cambridge as one of the editors of The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, which was completed with the publication of the 30th volume in 2023. Her own research explores the practices of natural history and especially the contributions of untrained participants in the production of nineteenth-century scientific knowledge. She is currently working on a book to be published by University of Chicago Press on social class, observation, and skill in nineteenth-century botany. Her edition of Gilbert White's The Natural History of Selborne was published in the Oxford World's Classics series in 2016.
Jenny Uglow is a biographer and historian, a retired publisher and former Chair of the Council of the Royal Society of Literature. Her award-winning books include The Lunar Men: The Friends Who Made the Future, Nature's Engraver: A Life of Thomas Bewick, and Edward Lear: A Life of Art and Nonsense. She is particularly interested in the relation of science, natural history, and art in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and her current book, A Year with Gilbert White, explores White's life and ideas through a year's entries in his Naturalist's Journal. She lives in Borrowdale and Canterbury.
Brycchan Carey is Professor of English at Northumbria University. He is the author or editor of numerous books and articles in the fields of empire, slavery, and abolition on the one hand and cultures of natural history on the other. His books include British Abolitionism and the Rhetoric of Sensibility, From Peace to Freedom: Quaker Rhetoric and the Birth of American Antislavery, and Birds in Eighteenth-Century Literature - which includes a chapter on 'The Literary Gilbert White'. He is President of the British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies and Treasurer of The Association for the Study of Literature and Environment, UK and Ireland. His current project is The Parish Revolution, which explores the lives and writings of clerical naturalists like Gilbert White in the period 1660-1859.
Steph Holt is an ecologist with a passion for the history of natural history. She works in the Centre for UK Nature at the Natural History Museum supporting naturalists from all walks of life and experience into deepening their understanding of the natural world. Her work has focused on British wildlife, particularly bats, however more recently her research has veered into the eighteenth century, and the influence of naturalists like Gilbert White on the study and practice of the subject today. She is a current graduate student in Historical Studies at Oxford University, a trustee of the British Naturalists Association, past trustee and committee chair for the Linnean Society of London, and currently sitting on the nominations committee for that institution. She is also part of the editorial team for Archives of Natural History, the journal of the Society for the History of Natural History.
Kimberley James is the Collections and Marketing Manager at Gilbert White's House and Gardens. She joined the team in 2014 after completing her MA in Eighteenth Century Studies at The University of Southampton. Since then, Kimberley has curated much of the current Gilbert White interpretation within the house as well as many temporary exhibitions at Gilbert White's House and Gardens. She also led in the organisation of an online festival celebrating Gilbert White's 300th birthday in 2020.
Gilbert White's House and Gardens
The Gilbert White House and Gardens in Selborne, Hampshire, is the hosting organisation for this conference. The house - which also holds the collections of Antarctic explorer Lawrence Oates (1880-1912) - been restored following descriptions in White's own correspondence and includes a chair he used at Oriel College, Oxford (loaned from the College), items of contemporary furniture, family portraits, and bed hangings embroidered for him by his aunts. Much of the garden has been recreated using the notes Gilbert White kept in his Garden Kalendar. The house also hosts a range of public events dedicated to White and his interests.
The Natural History Museum
The Centre for UK Nature at the Natural History Museum in London is organiser Stephanie Holt's institution. The museum is world famous not only for its natural history collections which attract thousands of visitors each week, but also as an acclaimed research institution which is home to more than 300 scientists who collectively publish over 700 scientific papers every year.
The Department of Humanities at Northumbria University in Newcastle upon Tyne is organiser Brycchan Carey's institution. Northumbria University is a research-intensive university that unlocks potential for all, changing lives regionally, nationally, and internationally. It was named University of the Year 2022. The Department of Humanities has over 80 members of academic staff and includes the subject areas of History, English Literature, English Language and Linguistics, Creative Writing, American Studies, and Music.
The British Academy
The British Academy is the UK's national academy for the humanities and social sciences. It distributes funding to support UK and international academic research, career development, and wider engagement across the the humanities and social sciences. This conference is part of a programme of activities and research undertaken by Brycchan Carey as one of the current British-Academy/Wolfson Professors.
The Wolfson Foundation
The Wolfson Foundation is an independent grant-making charity that awards grants to support and promote excellence in education, science and medicine, heritage, humanities and the arts, and health and disability. This conference is part of a programme of activities and research undertaken by Brycchan Carey as one of the current British-Academy/Wolfson Professors. The Wolfson Foundation also supports the Gilbert White House and Gardens.