Ian Dudley

Ian Dudley

Department of Film and Creative Writing
Doctoral researcher

Contact details

PhD title: The Museum
Supervisor: Dr Isabel Galleymore and Professor John Holmes

PhD Creative Writing


  • BA Zoology (Oxford, 1980)
  • MSc “Cloning the LSP-1 genes of Drosophila pseudoobscura” (Oxford, 1984)
  • MA Creative and Life Writing (Goldsmiths, 2018)


I’m writing about the way natural history museums shape our understanding of who we are.

The Victorian natural history museums embody crossing currents. They were created to promote science, but their architecture and decoration were heavily influenced by contemporary theories of art, some of which were at odds with science. The museums’ founders organised them according to their religious beliefs, but the museums’ collections promoted a secular worldview, and laid the foundations for posthumanism.

"We tell ourselves stories in order to live" (Didion), and I’m interested in the stories we are telling ourselves about our place in the natural world at a time when man-made extinctions are converting living species into museum stock at an unprecedented rate.

Other activities

I was a Jerwood/Arvon mentee in 2014.


“The Oxford Evolution Debate”, Stand (in press).