Science and Technology Studies


STS offers degrees at each university level: undergraduate, masters, and PhD


STS Research Seminar - Dr Josie Gill (Bristol) - Weds 20th February 2019

20 February 2019, 4:00 pm–7:00 pm

Dr Josie Gill (Bristol)

The STS Research Seminar series allows the department to exhibit some of the most interesting recent research in our field. We invite speakers both from UCL and the wider community to present their research to a varied and curious audience.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Malcolm Chalmers – Department of Science and Technology Studies
0207 679 1328


Room 1.2
Malet Place Engineering Building
Malet Place
United Kingdom

On Wednesday 20th February, Dr Josie Gill (Bristol) will visit the department to give her talk "'Handle with Care': Literature, Archaeology, Slavery". The talk will begin at 4.30pm in Room 1.2, Malet Place Engineering Building. Refreshments will be available from 4pm.


This talk will consider the relationship between literary and bioarchaeological approaches to slavery, and how the methods and priorities of each discipline might inform the other to enhance our understanding of what it was like to be enslaved. Both bioarchaeologists and creative writers attempt to access the inner lives of enslaved people, yet there has been little interaction between these approaches. This talk offers an account of an interdisciplinary research project which brought together a literary scholar, two archaeological scientists and seven creative writers to explore how writing might not only communicate a history primarily understood through archaeological evidence, but could itself inform approaches to that evidence. It identifies two key themes which emerged from the project as ways of opening up, rather than claiming, the past: Conversation and Caring. These are themes which were also crucial to the success of the interdisciplinary process, as it was only through attention to our relationships with one other that we were able to begin to rethink the material basis of each of our disciplines



About the Speaker

Dr Josie Gill

Lecturer in Black British Writing of the 20th and 21st Centuries at University of Bristol

Dr Gill's research interests are in contemporary literature, particularly Black British and African American writing.  Her current project examines the relationship between scientific and fictional engagements with race in Britain and the United States since the 1970s. From 2016-2017 she was Principal Investigator of the AHRC funded project 'Literary Archaeology': Exploring the Lived Environment of the Slave, which brought together archaeological scientists, creative writers and literary scholars to develop a new, interdisciplinary approach to the study of the lives of enslaved people.  

More about Dr Josie Gill