Extinction, Endangerment, and Environmental Storytelling

13-14 September 2023

Stavanger Art Museum, Stavanger, Norway, and online

Times are in Central European summer time (CEST)

All talks will be available to watch live online. Speakers who are online indicated with *.

Wednesday, 13 September

10:00-10:15 Welcome by Beyond Dodos and Dinosaurs project leader, Dolly Jørgensen

10:15-11:00 Pair 1

Eleanor Schaumann, Let’s save this f*ing sheep: On Multispecies Relations and Extinction Narratives in the Namibian Karakul Industry

James Hatley, Buffalo Extirpation and Prairie Ecocide in the Presence of Nuclear Warheads: Liturgical Innovations

11:15-12:00 Pair 2

Gitte Westergaard, Extinct or Not? Museum Specimens Haunting their Environments

Verity Burke, Looking Endangerment in the Face: Non-Human Death Masks in Museum Narratives

12:00-13:00 Lunch provided for in-person attendees

13:00-13:45 Pair 3

Vincent Bruyere, What Does Endangerment Mean to Mother Goose?

Zarkamol Munisov, Soviet Environmental Storytelling about Extinction and Endangerment of Plant and Animal Species in Children’s Magazines

14:00-14:45 Pair 4

Jonathan Hay, Speculative Storytelling as a Mindfulness Tool for Climate Activism *

Adrienne van Eeden-Wharton, Render | Remnant: Waterlogged stories in the aftermath of African and Antarctic whaling

15:00-15:45 Roundtable discussion

Discussants: Libby Robin, Nancy Jacobs, Graham Huggan

Moderator: Dolly Jørgensen

Break – Dinner provided for in-person speakers

Online only evening

20:00-20:45 Pair 5

Risa Aria Schnebly, Reconstructing the Story of the Thylacine: Structure Diagrams as a Tool for Imagining New Narratives *

Lena Schlegel, Photography as an Art of Witnessing Amid the Australian Extinction Crisis *

21:00-21:45 Pair 6

Pamela Perrimon, The Social Stakes of Delisting the Ivory-billed Woodpecker *

Jennifer Schell, Ghost Nets and Cetacean Bodies: Tales of Spectral and Material Entanglement in the Necrocene *

Thursday, 14 September

12:00-13:00 Lunch provided for in-person attendees

13:00-13:45 Pair 7

L. Sasha Gora, Turtle Soup: The Ghost of Appetites Past

Dolly Jørgensen, Turtles All the Way Down: The Cultural Presence of the Extinct Hoàn Kiếm turtle

14:00- 14:45 Pair 8

Shira Shmuely and Tamar Novick, Orangutans in Ramat Gan: Being Endemic in a Time of Global Trade and Local Destruction *

Oli Moore, “What Story Are You Telling?” The Endangered Wild Narrative in Conflicting Practices of Feeding Zoo Animals

15:00-15:45 Pair 9

Ryan Darr, An Ethical Tension in Interspecies Empathy *

Olimpia Mailat Gurghian, Environmentalism in Science Fiction: Narratives of Extinction in Frank Herbert’s ‘Dune’ Franchise

15:45-16:00 Closing

Link for online participation: https://stavanger.zoom.us/j/64687174204?pwd=SVFRczZUZHQ2UGdMOGxHVnNrdzRoQT09

Digital version of physical exhibition The Beaver’s Journey

The physical traveling exhibition Beverens reise / Bäverns resa / The Beaver’s Journey has a digital form on the Kuben museum website: https://www.kubenarendal.no/beverutstilling/#/.

The exhibition is designed for young visitors in particular. The visitor can choose to follow the beaver’s story in Norwegian, Swedish, or English, and we have included audio of the main storyline in all three. The online exhibition presents the exact same content as the main exhibition boards.

Voicing silence video

The artistic video Voicing silence created by Laurence Payot as part of the Thinking Through Extinction sub-project run by University of Leeds is now available for viewing with subtitles.

Refugia. Keep (out of) these places

The contemporary art exhibition “Refugia. Keep (out of) these places” is on display in Poznań, Poland, 24.09 — 21.11.2021. See the exhibition website for more details.

This exhibition has been created by the Polish team in the EXTINCT project financed under the JPICH program with their subproject Biodiversity of livable city: Species extinction and survival as cultural heritage. Read more about the subproject on the BioRóżnorodność website.

Books for The Beaver’s Journey

Dolly Jørgensen has published two books in Norwegian related to “The Beaver’s Journey” exhibition created in partnership with Elvarheim Museum. Both are available to read for free online.

The first is a children’s book with illustrations by Lars Rudebjer. The story Vi har ikke alltid vært her tells of young Benny the Beaver’s encounter with his beaver family’s history.

The second, Beverens reise, is a companion to the exhibition, giving more information and other images than available in the exhibition format.

Both books are also available for Norwegian schools in hard copy versions for free.

Launch of ‘The Beaver’s Journey’ digital Europeana exhibition

digital exhibition titled The Beaver’s Journey: From Disappearance to Recovery has been launched on the cultural heritage platform Europeana by the ‘Beyond Dodos and Dinosaurs’ project. This is the first Europeana exhibit curated by a Norwegian-based team. The exhibition is available in both English and Swedish.

The exhibition chronicles the history of the reintroduction of beavers in Scandinavia in the early 1900s. 2021 marks the 100-year anniversary of the first time beavers were caught in Norway to be set out in Sweden where they had become extinct.

See the press releases in English or Norwegian.

Call for Papers for Special Issue on Exhibiting Extinction

Call for Papers for Special Issue of Museum & Society on the theme Exhibiting Extinction

Editor: Dolly Jørgensen, University of Stavanger

Extinction of non-human species caused by our human activities has become one of the central concerns of modern environmentalism; at the same time, we are witnessing the widespread extinction of indigenous cultures and languages. Although discussions of potential (but not yet realized) extinction are animated by an “endangerment sensibility” which works to preserve the threatened object or being (Vidal and Dias 2016), once the species or culture or language is extinct, the discourse must shift. Extinction studies scholars have argued that scholars have a moral and ethical responsibility to expose how extinction affects us now and in the future and find new ways of living that recognises that the loss of species is connected to colonial structures in human-nonhuman as well as human-human relations (Rose, van Dooren, and Chrulew 2017). Greater input is urgently needed from arts and humanities to work critically engage with the scientific discourses about extinction.

Museums have been called upon in the last few years to educate and inspire action on grand challenges such as climate change (Cameron and Neilson 2015; Newell, Robin, and Wehner 2016). In the same vein, they have the opportunity to be primary sites of public engagement with extinction. A number of local and national museums have responded with educational exhibitions focusing on modern species extinction, such as Extinction or Survival? Manchester Museum 2016-17; Extinct: a Way of Life, York Museum 2017; Extinction: Not the End of the World? London Natural History Museum, 2013. Others have incorporated concerns about modern extinction alongside the planetary of the dinosaurs, such as Deep Time opened at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum in 2019. These examples show that the time is ripe to analyse the positioning and ethics of extinction as an exhibitable phenomenon.

This special issue calls for critical reflection on how museums have been and can be used to cultivate reflective thinking about extinction. It is open for scholarship on the roles of museums in exhibiting the loss of nonhuman species and/or the loss of human cultures/languages that results from the extinction of nonhumans. The special issue welcomes papers on these topics:

  • Representations of extinct species, including which species are put on display, how they are displayed, and the visual and textual context of the species’ remains
  • Displaying linkages between cultural and biological extinctions
  • Connecting historical extinction events to contemporary concerns
  • The role of contemporary artistic or multimedia work in communicating extinction in a museum setting
  • Emotional and ethical frameworks of exhibiting extinction, such as grief, anger, hopelessness, a sense of injustice, resistance, care, hopefulness, joy, and playfulness
  • Conservation challenges of putting irreplaceable extinct specimens/objects on display and the role of museums as caretakers of/for the dead
  • Challenges with museum education and outreach programs on extinction as a local and/or planetary issue

Potential authors:

Potential authors are encouraged to submit an abstract that will be reviewed by the special issue editor. Authors will then be invited to submit a full manuscript and all submissions will be subject to a peer review process.

Abstract guidelines:

Please submit an abstract of approximately 300 words by 16 October 2020 to dolly.jorgensen@uis.no.  You will be notified by 23 October 2020 if your paper is accepted for submission.

Full submission guidelines:

Manuscript length should be between 5,000 and 8,000 words, following the journal guidelines, and must be submitted by 15 March 2021.


16 October 2020: authors to send abstracts to editor.
23 October 2020: editor notifies authors whether the abstract has been accepted.
15 March 2021: authors to send first drafts of full manuscript to editor.

Manuscripts will then be sent to peer review, and papers invited for a ‘revise and resubmit’ will be due in mid-2021. The special issue will be published in July 2022.

Editor bio:

Dolly Jørgensen is Professor of History, University of Stavanger, Norway. She is the PI of two projects on extinction and museums: “Beyond Dodos and Dinosaurs” financed by the Research Council of Norway, and “Extinction as Cultural Heritage?” selected by the Joint Programming Initiative in Cultural Heritage and financed by Research Council of Norway, UK Arts & Humanities Research Council, and Polish Ministry of Culture & National Heritage.


Cameron, Fiona and Brett Neilson, eds. 2015. Climate Change and Museum Futures. New York and London: Routledge.

Newell, Jennifer, Libby Robin, and Kirsten Wehner, eds. 2016. Curating the Future: Museums, Communities and Climate Change (New York and London: Routledge.

Rose, D.B., T. van Dooren, and M. Chrulew. 2017. Extinction Studies: Stories of Time, Death, and Generations. Columbia University Press.