Passions for Birds Book Launch

  • Wed 7 Dec 22

    17:00 - 18:30

  • Colchester Campus


  • Event speaker

    Professor Sean Nixon

  • Event type

    Lectures, talks and seminars

  • Event organiser

    Sociology, Department of

  • Contact details

    Dr Anna Di-Ronco

Join the Centre for Research in Economic Sociology and Innovation and Professor Sean Nixon for the launch of his new book "Passions for Birds".

Professor Sean Nixon teaches in the Department of Sociology at the University of Essex and is author of four other books, including Hard Sell, advertising, affluence and trans-Atlantic relations, 1951-1969 (MUP, 2013), Hard Looks, masculinities, spectatorship and contemporary consumption (UCL Press, 1996) and Representation, cultural representation and signifying practices, edited with Stuart Hall and Jessica Evans (Sage, 2013, Second Edition).

Passions for Birds traces the transformation of human passions for wild birds from the early twentieth century through the 1970s, detailing humans’ close encounters with wild birds in Britain and the wider North Atlantic world. The book reveals how emotional, subjective and material attachments between people and birds were forged through a period of pronounced social and cultural change. The book demonstrates how, for all their differences, new traditions in birdwatching and conservation, field sports and bird harvesting mobilized remarkably similar feelings towards birds. Striking similarities also emerged in the material forms that each of these practices used to bring birds closer to people – hides and traps, nets and ropes and binoculars. Wide ranging in scope Passions for Birds sheds new lights on how wild birds helped to shape expanded ways of being human throughout the twentieth century.

Professor Ted Benton is Emeritus Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Essex and is author of many books, including Natural Relations, ecology, animal rights and social justice (Verso, 1993), Alfred Russel Wallace, explorer, evolutionist, public intellectual, a thinker for our own times? (Siri Scientific, 2013), Bumblebees (New Naturalist, 2006) and Grasshoppers and Crickets (New Naturalist, 2011).

Jeremy Mynott is Emeritus Fellow of Wolfson College, University of Cambridge and author of Birdscapes, birds in our imagination and experience (Princeton University Press, 2009), Birds in the Ancient World, winged words (Oxford University Press, 2018), a translation of Thucydides (Cambridge University Press, 2013) and The Consolation of Nature, spring in the time of coronavirus, with Michael McCarthy and Peter Marren (Hodder Studio, 2020).

Chaired by Dr Maitrayee Deka.

 This seminar is part of an open webinar series, hosted by the Centre for Research in Economic Sociology and Innovation.