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Future Anterior: How Nineteenth-Century Institutions Framed the Future of Animals

September 19 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

This is an image of Mario Ortiz-Robles. He is looking directly at the camera. He is wearing a gray sweater and resting his chin in his left hand. Behind him there is a painting hanging on the wall.
Image courtesy of Mario Ortiz-Robles.

Mario Ortiz-Robles

Senior Fellow (2021-2025)

Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor and Nancy C. Hoefs Professor of English, UW–Madison


This project examines animal displays in nineteenth-century public institutions — natural history museums, zoos, and circuses — and their representation in literary texts, journalistic accounts, and popular visual depictions in an effort to determine the extent to which the logic of classification, captivity and domestication that characterizes public animal displays has shaped our view of the future of animals as we approach the sixth extinction.


Mario Ortiz Robles is the Nancy C. Hoefs Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. His work is situated at the intersection of nineteenth-century European literature, literary theory, and the environmental humanities. He is the author of The Novel as Event, Literature and Animal Studies, and co-editor of Narrative Middles. He has published extensively on Victorian literature and culture, animal studies, and literary theory. He is currently at work on a book-length project on literary naturalism.

*Events currently open only to 2022-23 fellows due to space concerns; please contact IRH at info@irh.wisc.edu to be added to a cancellation list for in-person events.*


September 19
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
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University Club, Room 212
432 East Campus Mall
Madison, Wisconsin 53703 United States
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