Billie I Gavurin

Dr Billie I Gavurin

MA, PhD, BA

  • BS8 1TB

Personal profile

Research interests

I am interested in cultural responses to evolutionary theory in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. My current book project, based upon my recently completed doctoral thesis, examines classical animal-human hybrids in in fin de siècle literature and visual art, where these composite mythic forms functioned as a locus for anxieties and fantasies surrounding what it meant to be human in a post-Darwinian world. Central concepts explored include mythography, degeneration theory, deep time and palaeoscience, and nineteenth-century constructions of gender and sexuality. Works of interest include the fiction of H. G. Wells, Arthur Machen, and Algernon Blackwood, as well as scientific literature by writers including Charles Darwin, Herbert Spencer, and Charles Lyell.

 

I am also in the early stages of a second research project which will focus on counterfactual depictions of prehistoric hominins in culture between c. 1870 - 1920. The development of evolutionary theory across the nineteenth century raised a number of troubling questions about humanity's evolutionary origins; this project seeks to explore the imaginative ways in which writers and artists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries responded to these questions.

Keywords

  • Myth
  • Evolutionary theory
  • Mythography
  • Fin de siècle

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