Fantastic Beasts and Where I Found Them

Join us for the first in a revamped series of Professorial Inaugural Lectures as Professor Richard Thomas discusses his research into human-animal relationships.

The Professorial Inaugural Lecture series is free to attend and features newly appointed professors at the University of Leicester discussing their areas of expertise in front of a public audience. This first lecture will be held on Monday 9 December in the Peter Williams Lecture Theatre at 5.30pm.

In this lecture you can find out how five animals have shaped thinking about the complexity of past human-animal relationships. Delve in to the stories of a Manx shearwater, a spur-thighed tortoise, an African elephant, a domestic cow and a broiler chicken. Each animal illuminates the centrality of animals in human lives, as markers of identity, companions, magical beings, celebrities and commodities.

Professor Richard Thomas has been at the University of Leicester since 2003 with teaching and research interests centring on the study of animal bones from archaeological sites.

His research has two main strands:

  • The reconstruction of past human-animal relationships, predominantly in medieval and early modern England;
  • Palaeopathology – the study of animal health and disease in the past.

For the past five years, he has co-directed the Bradgate Park Fieldschool. This project blends student training, public engagement and research and explores 15,000 years of human activity in the upland landscape of Bradgate Park, Leicestershire. A highlight of this project has been identifying the probable childhood home of Lady Jane Grey beneath the standing ruins on the site.

To book your place for this fascinating lecture, please visit our Eventbrite page.

All our inaugural lectures are open to the public and free to attend. A drinks reception will follow the lecture.