Insect Humanities

This working group brings together researchers interested in insects. We discuss the future of insect studies in the humanities and social sciences and ask methodological questions about insect
research. Many existing insect studies are clustered around specific insect families and the particular interactions they have with humans both negative and positive. We are interested in what methods are promising for understanding insects within an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary context. In addition, we seek to understand knowledge systems regarding insects that lie outside the academic disciplines as traditionally construed.

The group’s core members have different temporal and geographic areas of expertise ranging from the 16th-20th centuries and covering most of the world’s continents. We have a wide range of interests from insects portrayed in art and used as commodities in the early modern period to pesticide use and concerns regarding the Anthropocene and the Plantationocene in the present day. The group is interdisciplinary in nature and we welcome curators, archivists, library professionals, scientists and many others. We intend to discuss: What is the role of insects in humanities? How do insects help us to think about non-human animal studies and multi-species relations? How do insects inspire new topics in the history of science?

Scholars studying the insect humanities represent a small but growing niche within the new turn towards non-human animal studies and multi-species concerns. Insects are a productive lens to study many current and pressing issues in the history of science. We find insects to be entities inspiring both wonder and joy.

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Consortium Respectful Behavior Policy

Participants at Consortium activities will treat each other with respect and consideration to create a collegial, inclusive, and professional environment that is free from any form of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation.

Participants will avoid any inappropriate actions or statements based on individual characteristics such as age, race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, nationality, political affiliation, ability status, educational background, or any other characteristic protected by law. Disruptive or harassing behavior of any kind will not be tolerated. Harassment includes but is not limited to inappropriate or intimidating behavior and language, unwelcome jokes or comments, unwanted touching or attention, offensive images, photography without permission, and stalking.

Participants may send reports or concerns about violations of this policy to

Upcoming Meetings

  • Monday, April 24, 2023 11:00 am to 12:30 pm EDT


  • Monday, May 22, 2023 11:00 am to 12:30 pm EDT


  • Monday, June 26, 2023 11:00 am to 12:30 pm EDT


  • Monday, July 24, 2023 11:00 am to 12:30 pm EDT


  • Monday, August 28, 2023 11:00 am to 12:30 pm EDT


  • Monday, September 25, 2023 11:00 am to 12:30 pm EDT


  • Monday, October 23, 2023 11:00 am to 12:30 pm EDT


  • Monday, November 27, 2023 11:00 am to 12:30 pm EST


Group Conveners

  • amarquez's picture

    Angelica Marquez-Osuna

    Angélica studies the history of Latin America from a global perspective, specializing in environment, race, labor, agriculture and farming practices.

    Her dissertation Colonized Bees in the Tropical Frontier: Beekeeping and Modern Apiculture in the Yucatán Peninsula, Florida, and Cuba from 1760-1940 is about the history of beekeeping practices and industrial apiculture in the context of the Spanish colonization and the development of global capitalism. It focuses on the relocation of the European honeybee Apis Mellifera that did not exist in the Americas before colonization, and the displacement of the native stingless bee Melipona beecheii which is also capable of producing large amounts of honey and wax and has been bred by Maya communities for over 3,000 years in the Yucatán Peninsula. Her research looks at the commonalities, connections, and differences between three locations that were crucial for the development of apiculture in the tropics: Florida, Cuba, and the Yucatán Peninsula. Angélica’s work emphasizes geopolitics, the changing borderlands in the history of colonialism and capitalism in the Americas, and the role of bees and beekeepers in these processes.


  • ddmoore's picture

    Deirdre Moore

    Deirdre Moore received her PhD in the History of Science from Harvard University in 2021 with her dissertation, 'The Heart of Red: Cochineal in Colonial Mexico and India'. Her research focuses on how complex relationships between humans, plants and animals led to the production of valued commodities in the Early Modern period with a concentration on the history of cochineal dye insects in Europe, Asia and the Americas.

    Deirdre's research has been supported by the American Indian Studies Graduate Student Fellowship, Newberry Library, Chicago, the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies Summer Research Grant, the Tyler Fellowship, Garden and Landscape Studies Department, Dumbarton Oaks and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada among others. Her main research interests lie in the Early Modern period, exploring connections in the history and origins of international trade, economic history and the history of entomology and insect interactions with human communities. She also makes films about insects.


4 Members