Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


Man as Mismeasure

15 May 2024, 2:00 pm–4:00 pm

Man as Mismeasure

Talk and workshop with Dr Ben Woodard (ICI Berlin)

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







UCL English and UCL SPRC


20 Gordon Square
Gordon Square
United Kingdom

Stephen Jay Gould's The Mismeasure of Man still stands as one of the most important works in detailing and critiquing scientific racism in the life sciences. Few texts can claim to properly carry and extend Gould's thought and his reputation has been under consistent attack for twenty years. This talk will examine how Sylvia Wynter's genealogy of the concept of 'man' builds upon and goes far beyond Gould's historical and conceptual remit while at the same time taking seriously the political import of the life sciences by way of decolonial theory, and Black studies.

Ben's talk will be followed by a response from Camille Crichlow (UCL SPRC).

This event is supported by the UCL Sarah Parker Remond Centre for the Study of Racism and Racialisation and UCL English. Please email Lara Choksey (L.Choksey@ucl.ac.uk) with any questions.

About the Speakers

Ben Woodard

at The Sarah Parker Remond Centre

Ben Woodard is a Fellow at the Institute of Cultural Inquiry, Berlin (2022-24). In broad terms, his work focuses on the relationship between naturalism and idealism in the long nineteenth century. He is the author of numerous articles and three books: Slime Dynamics: Generation, Mutation and the Creep of Life (2012), On an Ungrounded Earth: Towards a New Geophilosophy (2013), and Schelling’s Naturalism: Motion, Space, and the Volition of Thought (2019). He also writes on science fiction and horror film and literature. His current project is 'White Cocoon: Model Organisms and Decolonial Biology'.

Camille Crichlow

Camille Crichlow is a PhD candidate at the UCL Sarah Parker Remond Centre. Her research interrogates how the historical and socio-cultural narrative of race manifests in today’s facial recognition and surveillance technologies.