Dinosaurs, Middle Earth, and the Invention of the Deep Past

Aston Webb Lecture Theatre WG5 - Edgbaston Campus
Monday 12 December 2022 (17:30-18:30)

Jon Clatworthy, Director of the Lapworth Museum of Geology

Email: j.c.clatworthy@bham.ac.uk

Dinotopia by James Gurney, Copyright CC-BY-SA 4

Christmas Lapworth Lecture 

Speaker: Dr. Will Tattersdill, University of Birmingham

Please note the new date of Monday 12th December at 5.30pm

Dinosaurs, Middle Earth, and the Invention of the Deep Past

In this talk, I discuss 'worldbuilding' - the conscious creation of a fictitious universe. This is an activity most commonly associated with fantasy writers like Tolkien, but it is increasingly explicitly what we value across a range of mass media franchises, including The Expanse, House of the Dragon, and the marvel cinematic universe. It is also, I am going to suggest, something science does, or invites us to do. Not only have the worlds conjured by geologists been imaginative springboards for fantasy writers (including Tolkien himself), I also argue that the processes of geological discovery are themselves worldbuilding tools; the Mesozoic world, though realer than many we imagine, is nevertheless fantasy.

Will Tattersdill is Senior Lecturer in Popular Literature, Liberal Arts, and Natural Sciences at the University of Birmingham. He has published on dinosaur sculptures, Star Trek, Victorian magazines, polar exploration, and museum history, and is currently editing H. G. Wells's short stories for Oxford University Press.

All are welcome to attend and there is no admission charge

The Lecture will be held in Aston Webb A Block, Lecture Theatre WG05. 

You also have the option of joining virtually by registering to view the live Zoom Webinar here.

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