Bio


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 dissertation, “Afterlives of Extinction: The Politics of Display in the Modern United States,” traced how popular exhibitions transformed dinosaurs and other creatures of deep time from scientific specimens to consumer objects, artifacts of everyday American life, and usable pasts that serve the present. 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 2019-20 academic year, she is teaching "Stories Everywhere," "100,000 Years of War," and "Preventing Human Extinction."

Academic Appointments


  • Lecturer, Stanford Introductory Studies - Thinking Matters