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ePortfolio of Anais Walsdorf

Research

I am an AHRC-funded Collaborative Doctoral Partnership PhD researcher between the History department at University of Warwick and the Science Museum in London. My thesis, Metallic Empire: Science, Energy, and Industrial Imperialism in the John Percy Collection, 1817–89, focuses on the metallurgical collection of John Percy, and explores histories of colonial extraction, collecting, metallurgy, and 19th century industrial imperialism.

My supervisors are:

University of Warwick: Dr. James PoskettLink opens in a new window and Dr. Katayoun ShafieeLink opens in a new window

Science Museum: Dr. Richard Dunn and Ben Russell


Background

I have a BA in Development Studies from the University of California, Berkeley and a MSc in Empires, Colonialism and Globalisation (International History) from the London School of Economics. My MSc thesis was entitled "A Mythological Union: Symbol and Spectacle in Vichy Indochina 1940-1944". Supervised by Dr. David Motadel, it focused on the intersection of colonial and fascist ideologies and propaganda in Vichy Indochina during the Second World War.

Prior to beginning my PhD, I worked as a museum, library, and archive professional with institutions such as the 1947 Partition Archive, Wellcome Collection and Library, the Migration Museum, and the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience (ICSC).


Publications

Walsdorf, Anaïs. "Wealth and power: Coal and imperial extraction in the John Percy Collection" in Early encounters with coal: Retrieving views from below, eds. Amr Ahmed, Andreas Malm, Simon Schaffer, and Richard Staley. (forthcoming)

Walsdorf, Anaïs. "Industrial imperialism and the museum: a coal biography" in Mobilising Museum Minerals [Special Issue], eds. Eleanor Armstrong and Camille-Mary Sharp. Museum & Society. (forthcoming)


Conferences and Workshops

"Pit-coal, Iron, and Civilisation in John Percy's Metallurgy (1864)". International Nineteenth Century Studies Association Conference; 10 July 2024; Durham University, UK.

"Industrial Imperialism in the John Percy Collection, 1817-1889". Warwick Postgraduate History Conference; 19 May 2023; University of Warwick, UK.

"Metallic Empire: Science, Energy and Industrial Imperialism in the John Percy Collection". British Society for the History of Science Postgraduate Conference; 30 March 2023; University of Oxford, UK.

"How can a mineralogy collection reveal new histories of industrial imperialism?". Early Encounters with Coal: Retrieving Views from Below Workshop; 14 December 2022; University of Cambridge, UK. Poster.Link opens in a new window


Public History

Walsdorf, Anaïs. "Exhibition Review: Collectible Minerals at Mineralogy Museum of Mines Paris – PSL". Global History and Culture Center, Warwick Blog. 24 January 2024.

Walsdorf, Anaïs. "Happy Birthday Margaret Bourke-White!". Science Museum Blog. 14 June 2023.

Walsdorf, Anaïs. "Why Wellcome closed its Medicine Man exhibition – and others should follow suit". The Conversation. 16 December 2022.

Intervention label Link opens in a new windowin the Medicine Man exhibition, Wellcome Collection, London. On display May 2021- November 2022.

Walsdorf, Anaïs. "From the Highlands to the world: Where were your Scottish ancestors forced to relocate?". Blog piece for Find My Past in collaboration with the Migration Museum. 11 January, 2021.


Prizes and Awards

Monash-Warwick Alliance PhD Travel Grant, 2025.

Global History and Culture Centre Fund (University of Warwick) in support of the BSHS PG Conference, April 2024.

Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Collaborative Doctoral Award, 2022-2026.


Other Academic Activities

Panel chair, "Colonial Switzerland: Introducing New Actors and Geographies to Global and Imperial History". International Nineteenth Century Studies Association Conference; 10 July 2024; Durham University, UK.

Chair of the Organising Committee, British Society for the History of Science Postgraduate Conference. 19-20 April 2024. University of Warwick, UK.

Panel chair, "Colonial Science". British Society for the History of Science Postgraduate Conference. 20 April 2024. University of Warwick, UK.

Panel chair, "Botany". British Society for the History of Science Postgraduate Conference. 31 March 2023. University of Oxford, UK.

Workshop co-organiser, "Not A Conference". AHRC funded CDP History of Collecting and Institutions group. 24 February 2023. Science Museum, London, UK.


Networks and Memberships

Co-convenor of the CDP History of Collecting and Institutions Group

Warwick Global History and Culture Center (GHCC)Link opens in a new window

International Committee of Museums (ICOM)Link opens in a new window

British Society for the History of Science (BSHS)Link opens in a new window

Postgraduate Member of the Royal Historical Society


Research interests

  • Histories of empire
  • History of science
  • Environmental history
  • Histories of extraction and commodity frontiers
  • History of collecting and museums

Anaïs Walsdorf

anais.walsdorf@warwick.ac.uk

ORCID iD icon https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8234-7283


Read my most recent blog post for the Global History and Culture Center here:

Exhibition Review: Collectible Minerals at Mineralogy Museum of Mines ParisLink opens in a new window