Alison Laurence is a Lecturer in the Thinking Matters program. She received her PhD from MIT’s interdisciplinary program in History, Anthropology, and Science, Technology, and Society (HASTS) in 2019. A cultural and environmental historian, she specializes in the study of nature on display. Her current book manuscript--Of Dinosaurs and Culture Wars: Extinction, Extraction, and Modern American Monsters--traces how popular displays transformed dinosaurs and other creatures of deep time from scientific specimens to consumer objects and artifacts of everyday American life. Alison’s work has appeared in the Science Museum Group Journal, the History of Anthropology Newsletter, and the Anthropocene Curriculum. She holds a BA in Classics from Brown University and an MA in History and Public History from the University of New Orleans.

During the 2020-21 academic year, she is teaching "Stories Everywhere" and "100,000 Years of War."

Academic Appointments

  • Lecturer, Stanford Introductory Studies - Thinking Matters

2020-21 Courses

All Publications

  • Merpeople: A Human History. (Book Review) HISTORY Book Review Authored by: Laurence, A. 2021; 106 (369): 155–57