Thom van Dooren

Associate Professor Thom van Dooren

  • Post Nominals: FAHA
  • Fellow Type: Fellow
  • Elected to the Academy: 2022
  • Section(s): Cultural And Communication Studies


Thom van Dooren is an Associate Professor in the School of Humanities (Gender and Cultural Studies) and Deputy Director of the Sydney Environment Institute at the University of Sydney. His work is situated in the interdisciplinary environmental humanities with particular grounding in cultural studies, philosophy, and science and technology studies. His research and writing focus on the diverse ethical, cultural, and philosophical issues that arise in the context of species extinctions and human entanglements with threatened species and places. He has explored these themes in depth in three books: A World in a Shell: Snail Stories for a Time of Extinctions (MIT 2022), The Wake of Crows: Living and Dying in Shared Worlds (Columbia UP 2019, winner of the Fleck Prize from the Society for Social Studies of Science), and Flight Ways: Life and Loss at the Edge of Extinction (Columbia UP 2014, shortlisted in French translation for the François Sommer Prize).

Thom is a leading figure in the international discussions and collaborations that are shaping the environmental humanities as a field of teaching and research. With Deborah Bird Rose, he was founding editor of the first journal dedicated to the field, Environmental Humanities (Duke University Press). He has also held advisory and visiting positions at key environmental humanities institutes around the world, including a Humboldt Fellowship for Experienced Researchers at the Rachel Carson Centre, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (2014-16), and a Professor II appointment at the Oslo School of Environmental Humanities at the University of Oslo (2020-2022). His research has been funded by a range of other prestigious grants and fellowships, including an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship (2017-2021), and several ARC Discovery Projects.

Acknowledgement of Country

The Australian Academy of the Humanities recognises Australia’s First Nations Peoples as the traditional owners and custodians of this land, and their continuous connection to country, community and culture.