Thom van Dooren

Image of Thom van Dooren
Norwegian version of this page
Postal address Postboks 1010 Blindern 0315 OSLO

Academic interests

I’m a field philosopher and storyteller. My current research and writing focuses on some of the many philosophical, ethical, cultural, and political issues that arise in the context of species extinctions and human entanglements with threatened species and places.

These themes are explored in depth in three recent books: Flight Ways: Life and Loss at the Edge of Extinction (2014), The Wake of Crows: Living and Dying in Shared Worlds (2019), and the co-edited collection Extinction Studies: Stories of Time, Death, and Generations (2017), all published by Columbia University Press.

From 2012-2019, I was co-editor of the international, open-access journal Environmental Humanities (Duke University Press). I founded this journal with the late Deborah Bird Rose as the first space dedicated explicitly to this emerging field. In 2014, Deborah retired and I co-edited the journal with Elizabeth DeLoughrey (UCLA).

For further information on me and my research please visit


My research works across the disciplines of philosophy, cultural studies, human geography, science and technology studies, anthropology, and related fields. I completed my BA (honours) at the Australian National University (2003), and my PhD in the Fenner School of Environment and Society, also at the ANU (2007). From 2011-2017 I helped to establish and then worked with the Environmental Humanities group at the University of New South Wales, where we set up Australia’s (and one of the world’s) first undergraduate qualifications in the Environmental Humanities and the world’s first MOOC in this emerging area. I have held visiting positions at the University of California at Santa Cruz (2005, 2010), the Environmental Humanities Laboratory at the Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden (2014), the Department of Anthropology at MIT (2018), the Centre for Pacific Islands Studies at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa (2018), and been a Humboldt Research Fellow (Experienced Researchers) at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (2014, 2015, 2016).


  • Australian Research Council Future Fellowship (2017-2021): Extinction Stories: Inhabiting Landscapes of Loss in the Anthropocene (FT160100098)
  • ARC Discovery Project (2015-2017)Encountering Crows: Living with wildlife in a changing world (DP150103232)
  • Humboldt Foundation, Fellowship for Experienced Researchers (Germany), Encountering crows: world-making with hunters and scientists in Germany


  • I’m currently an Associate Professor (continuing) and Australian Research Council Future Fellow (2017-2021) in the Department of Gender and Cultural Studies and the Sydney Environment Institute at the University of Sydney, Australia.
  • I am also a Professor II in the Oslo School of Environmental Humanities at the University of Oslo, Norway (2020-2022).
Tags: extinction, biodiversity, environmental humanities, environmental philosophy, ethics

Selected publications


  1. van Dooren, T. (2019The Wake of Crows: Living and Dying in Shared Worlds, Columbia University Press: New York.
  2. van Dooren, T. (2014), Flight Ways: Life and Loss at the Edge of Extinction, Columbia University Press: New York.
  3. van Dooren, T. (2011), Vulture, Reaktion Books: London.

Edited Collections

  1. Rose, D.B., T. van Dooren and M. Chrulew (2017), Extinction Studies: Stories of Time, Death and Generations, Columbia University Press: New York.
  2. Bastian, M. and T. van Dooren (2017), “Immortality and Infinitude in the Anthropocene,” special issue of Environmental Philosophy (May)
  3. Lunney, D., M. Predavec and T. van Dooren (2017) “Zoology on the Table: The science, sustainability and politics of eating animals,” special issue of Australian Zoologist.
  4. van Dooren, T., U. Münster, E. Kirksey, D.B. Rose, M. Chrulew and A. Tsing (2016), “Multispecies Studies,” special issue of Environmental Humanities, vol. 8.1.
  5. Metcalf, J. & T. van Dooren (2012), “Temporal Environments: Rethinking Time and Ecology,” special issue of Environmental Philosophy, 9.1.
  6. Rose, D. & T. van Dooren (2011), “Unloved Others: Death of the Disregarded in the Time of Extinctions,” special issue of Australian Humanities Review, 50.

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

  1. O’Gorman, E., T. van Dooren, U. Münster, J. Adamson, C. Mauch, S. Sörlin, M. Armiero, K. Lindström, D. Houston, J. Augusto Pádua, K. Rigby, O. Jones, J. Motion, S. Muecke, C. Chang, S. Lu, C. Jones, L. Green, F. Matose, H. Twidle, M. Schneider-Mayerson, B. Wiggin, and D. Jørgensen. (2019) “Teaching the Environmental Humanities: International Perspectives and Practices,” Environmental Humanities, 11.2, pp.
  2. van Dooren, T. (2019) “Moving Birds in Hawai’i: Assisted colonisation in a colonised land,” Cultural Studies Review, 25.1, pp. 41-64. (Matthew Chrulew and Rick De Vos (eds.) “Extinction Studies: Stories of Unravelling and Reworlding” special issue.)
  3. van Dooren, T. (2018) “Thinking with Crows: (Re)doing Philosophy in the Field,” Parallax, 24.4, pp. 439-448. (Brett Buchanan, Matthew Chrulew, and Michelle Bastian (eds.) “Field Philosophy” special issue.)
  4. Kirksey, Eben, Paul Munro, Thom van Dooren, Dan Emery, Anne Maree Kreller, Jeffrey Kwok, Ken Lau, Madeleine Miller, Kaleesha Morris, Stephanie Newson, Erin Olejniczak, Amy Ow, Kate Tuckson, Sarah Sannen, and John Martin (2018) “Feeding the flock: Wild cockatoos and their Facebook friends,” Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space, 1.4, pp. 602-620.
  5. Kearnes, M. and T. van Dooren (2017) “Re-thinking the final frontier: Cosmo-logics and an ethic of interstellar flourishing” GeoHumanities, 3.1, pp. 178-197.
  6. van Dooren, T. (2016) “Authentic Crows: Identity, Captivity and Emergent Forms of Life,” Theory, Culture and Society, 33.2, pp. 29-52.
  7. van Dooren, T. (2016) “The Unwelcome Crows: Hospitality in the Anthropocene,” Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities, vol. 21.2, pp. 193-212.
  8. van Dooren, T. and D.B. Rose (2016) “Lively Ethography: Storying Animist Worlds,” Environmental Humanities, vol. 8.1, pp. 77-94.
    (Reprinted by invitation in Environmental Humanities: Voices from the Anthropocene. S. Oppermann and S. Iovino (eds). Rowman and Littlefield, 2016)
  9. van Dooren, T., E. Kirksey and U. Münster (2016) “Multispecies Studies: Cultivating Arts of Attentiveness,” Environmental Humanities, vol. 8.1, pp. 1-23.
  10. van Dooren, T. (2015) “A Day With Crows: Rarity, Nativity and the Violent-Care of Conservation,” Animal Studies Journal, 4.2, pp. 1-28.
  11. van Dooren, T. and D. Rose (2012) ‘Storied-places in a Multispecies City’, Humanimalia, 3.2, pp. 1-27
  12. van Dooren, T. (2011‘Invasive Species in Penguin Worlds: An Ethical Taxonomy of Killing for Conservation’Conservation and Society, 9.4, pp. 286-298
  13. Rose, D., S. Cooke and T. van Dooren (2011‘Ravens at Play’Cultural Studies Review, 17.2, pp. 326-343
  14. van Dooren, T. (2011) ‘Vultures and their People in India: Equity and Entanglement in a Time of Extinctions’ Australian Humanities Review, 50, pp. 45-61
    (Reprinted by invitation in Manoa: A Pacific Journal of International Writing, Winter 2010; and, Erica Fudge and Clare Palmer (eds.) Veterinary Science: Animals, Humans and Health, Open Humanities Press: Living Books about Life,
  15. van Dooren, T. (2010‘Pain of Extinction: The Death of a Vulture’Cultural Studies Review, 16.2, pp. 271-289
  16. van Dooren, T. (2010‘Biopatents and the Problem/Promise of Genetic Leaks: Farming Canola in Canada’Capitalism, Nature, Socialism, 21.2, pp. 43-63
  17. van Dooren, T. (2009): ‘Banking Seed: Use and Information in the Conservation of Agricultural Diversity’ Science as Culture, 18.4, pp. 373-395
  18. van Dooren T. (2009): ‘Genetic Conservation in a Climate of Loss’, Ecological Humanities in the Australian Humanities Review, 46, pp. 103-112
  19. van Dooren, T. (2008): ‘Inventing Seed: The Nature/s of Intellectual Property in Plants’, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 26.4, pp. 676-697
  20. Roa-Rodríguez, C. & T. van Dooren (2008): ‘The Shifting Common Spaces of Plant Genetic Resources in the International Regulation of Property’The Journal of World Intellectual Property, 11.3, pp. 176-202
  21. van Dooren, T. (2007): ‘Terminated Seed: Death, Proprietary Kinship and the Production of (Bio)wealth’Science as Culture, 16.1, pp. 71-93
  22. van Dooren, T. (2005): ‘I Would Rather be a God/dess than a Cyborg: A Pagan Encounter with Donna Haraway’, Pomegranate: A Journal of Pagan Studies, 7.1, pp. 42-58

Peer-Reviewed Book Chapters

  1. van Dooren, T. (2018) “Extinction” in Lori Gruen (ed.) Critical Terms for Animal Studies. University of Chicago Press: Chicago. (unformatted PDF)
  2. van Dooren, T. and V. Despret (2018) “Evolution: Lessons from Some Cooperative Ravens” in Lynn Turner, Ron Broglio and Undine Sellbach (eds.) The Edinburgh Companion to Animal Studies. University of Edinburgh Press: Edinburgh. (unformatted PDF)
  3. van Dooren, T. (2017) “Banking the Forest: Loss, Hope and Care in Hawaiian Conservation,” in Joanna Radin and Emma Kowal (eds.) Cryopolitics: Frozen Life in a Melting World, MIT Press. (unformatted PDF)
  4. van Dooren, T. (2017) “Spectral Crows in Hawai`i: Conservation and the Work of Inheritance,” in Deborah Rose, Thom van Dooren and Matthew Chrulew (eds.) Extinction Studies: Stories of Time, Death and Generations. Columbia University Press: New York. (PDF of earlier version, Sir Keith Hancock Lecture)
  5. Rose, D., T. van Dooren and M. Chrulew (2017) “Telling Extinction Stories: An Introduction” in Deborah Rose, Thom van Dooren and Matthew Chrulew (eds.) Extinction Studies: Stories of Time, Death and Generations. Columbia University Press: New York.
  6. van Dooren, T. (2014) “Mourning Crows: Grief and Extinction in a Shared World”, in Susan McHugh and Garry Marvin (eds.) The Handbook of Human-Animal Studies, Routledge: London and New York.

Shorter Essays (Peer-Reviewed)

  1. van Dooren, T. (2018) “Environmental Humanities” in Noel Castree, Mike Hulme and James Proctor (eds) The Companion to Environmental Studies. Routledge: London and New York. (unformatted PDF)
  2. Rose, D. and T. van Dooren (2017) “Encountering a More-than-human World: Ethos and the Arts of Witness,” in Ursula Heise, Jon Cristensen and Michelle Niemann (eds.) Routledge Companion to the Environmental Humanities, Routledge: London, pp. 120-128. (unformatted PDF)
  3. van Dooren, T. (2017) “Making Worlds with Crows: Philosophy in the Field,” Rachel Carson Centre Perspectives, 2017/1.
  4. van Dooren, T. and D. Rose (2017) “Keeping Faith with the Dead: Mourning and De-extinction,” Australian Zoologist, 38.3, pp. 375-378.(PDF).
  5. O’Gorman, E. and T. van Dooren (2017) “The Promises of Pests: Wildlife in Agricultural Landscapes,” Australian Zoologist, 39.1, pp. 81-84.(PDF)
  6. van Dooren, T. (2015) “The Last Snail: Loss, Hope and Care for the Future,” in Anna-Sophie Springer and Etienne Turpin (eds.) Land & Animal & Nonanimal, Haus der Kulturen der Welt: Berlin. (PDF)
    (Also published in Libby Robin, Jenny Newell and Kirsten Wehner (eds.) (2016) Curating the Future: Museums, Communities and Climate Change, Routledge: London)
  7. van Dooren, T. (2015) “Vulture Stories: Narrative and Conservation,” in Katherine Gibson, Ruth Fincher and Deborah Bird Rose (eds.) A Manifesto for Living in the Anthropocene, Punctum Books: New York.
  8. van Dooren, T. (2014) “Care” in the Living Lexicon for the Environmental Humanities, Environmental Humanities, 5, pp. 291-294.
  9. van Dooren, T. (2012) ‘Wild Seed, Domesticated Seed: Companion species and the emergence of agriculture‘ PAN: Philosophy Activism Nature, 9, pp. 22-28
  10. van Dooren, T. (2012) ‘Nature in the Anthropocene?‘ The Yearbook of Comparative Literature, 58, pp. 228-234
  11. Rose, D. & T. van Dooren (2010): ‘Extinctions’ entry in Encyclopedia of Geography, SAGE Reference (winner of an “Outstanding Reference Source” award at the American Library Association meeting, 2011).
Published Jan. 31, 2020 8:58 AM - Last modified Jan. 21, 2021 2:44 PM