Call for Papers: Down Under Darwin: Australasian Perspectives on Darwin Studies

This is a call for papers for a special issue of Studies in History and Philosophy of Science.

Down Under Darwin: Australasian Perspectives on Darwin Studies

Darwin is an iconic, almost mythical figure; he is the “undead” Darwin, still very much alive in heated debates in modern evolutionary biology, ethology and anthropology, and in public conflicts over religion, gender and race. Both Darwin and “Darwinism” carry an enormous charge, extending far beyond the industry of specialist Darwin Studies. In recent years Darwin Studies too has moved well beyond its original confines to create new researchers and reading audiences in an array of disciplinary fields. “Darwinism” has come to be understood as a protean concept that defies static definition, as an unstable, proliferating body of theory, evidence and ideology, ramifying into a multitude of formats; while scholarly attention is shifting from issues of genesis, reception, and dispersion to the ways in which Darwin and Darwinism have been, and continue to be, actively used, appropriated and reshaped in different localities and sites, in a reciprocal process of production and reproduction. Australia and New Zealand have become dynamic sites for such cutting edge multi-disciplinary Darwin Studies, for rewritings that refract the man and his representations from a different perspective, challenging stereotypical images and interpretations, and exploring and redefining local and global ramifications and interactions.

This special issue will therefore bring together Australasian-based scholars from a rich array of disciplinary fields and methodological approaches who are concerned with Darwin and Darwinism — past and present, from the local to the global. We thus encourage contributions from across the spectrum of Darwin studies that deal with such topics as Darwin and Darwinism in Australia and New Zealand; race, science and Indigeneity; gender, sex, and class in the history of evolutionary theory; Darwinism in nineteenth-century European science, thought, and culture; evolution and the cultural arts; and philosophical and historiographical issues.

We are also seeking Down Under scholarship that considers broader conceptual questions about place, space, and cultural perceptions: Is there a distinctive antipodean perspective on Darwin and Darwin Studies? Has residence in former colonies of settlement with strong Indigenous rights movements shaped our interpretations of Darwin and Darwinism? Are we more attuned to the social and cultural embeddedness of science? Are Australasians, with their overlapping, multitudinous connections to Oceania, Asia, Europe, and North America, particularly well placed to pursue the study of Global Darwin in the twenty-first century?

The special issue will be edited by Evelleen Richards (University of Sydney), Ruth Barton (University of Auckland), and Ian Hesketh (University of Queensland). Please send your abstracts of max. 300 words by 1 December 2020 to The deadline for the submission of full papers is 31 January 2021. Full papers should follow the general Guide for Authors of Studies in History and Philosophy of Science.