Dr Sarah Bezan

Research associate


Sarah Bezan was a research associate on the BIOSEC project, where she researched cultural understandings of species biodiversity in the context of the sixth mass extinction crisis.

Sarah is an interdisciplinary scholar who works across the arts and sciences, and contributes to the emerging field of extinction studies, which examines the entangled ecological and social dimensions of species loss. She is currently writing her second monograph The Extinct Sequence: Species Loss and Revival in a Biotechnological Age. This studies the impact of biotechnological advances like de-extinction science, which are radically re-shaping the objectives of conservation programmes around the world. The project observes how biotechnologies extend settler-colonial histories of the commodification of critically endangered and extinct species. It also illuminates how creative and cultural engagements with these histories can inspire new ways of understanding human-animal relationships in the 21st century.

In addition to her research on species loss and revival, Sarah is a literary animal studies scholar affiliated with The University of Sheffield Animal Studies Research Centre (ShARC). She is a former British Academy Newton International Fellow (2018-2020) and Honorary Research Fellow (2020-2023).

Her first book, Dead Darwin: Necro-Ecologies in Neo-Victorian Culture, is under advance contract with Manchester University Press (2021). Her editorial work has appeared in a number of venues, including a special issue on “Taxidermic Forms and Fictions” with Susan McHugh in Configurations: Journal of Literature, Science and Technology (2019) and the volume Seeing Animals After Derrida with James Tink published in Lexington Books’s Ecocritical Theory and Practice Series (2017).

Sarah co-organised an international conference on Animal Remains in April 2019 with Professor Robert McKay (co-director of The University of Sheffield Animal Studies Research Centre). The conference saw contributions by leading scholars and creative practitioners, which have now been commissioned into a co-edited volume; Animal Remains. This volume is under advance contract with Routledge’s Perspectives on the Nonhuman in Literature and Culture series (2021). Along with these outputs, Sarah is the author of more than a dozen peer-reviewed publications on a wide range of topics, from practices of meat consumption in British fiction to the representation of queer sexualities in Asian-Canadian literature.

Sarah holds a PhD in Literature (2017) from The University of Alberta, Canada and also serves as a Research Associate of the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada-funded project on Digital Animalities at York University in Toronto, Canada. She is currently Primary Investigator on a British Academy and Royal Irish Academy seed funding grant on “Speculative Environments and Prospective Anthropocenes.”

You can follow Sarah on Twitter: @sarahbezan

Sarah’s website.