CFP: ‘I was Born a Naturalist’: Charles Darwin and Shrewsbury

Call for Papers – ‘I was Born a Naturalist’: Charles Darwin and Shrewsbury

Friday 3rd July 2020, University Centre Shrewsbury.

We would like to invite you to a one-day symposium exploring Darwin’s origins in Shropshire. We will discuss the effects of Shrewsbury and its surrounding area on the young Charles Darwin. What were the influences of the Darwin and Wedgwood family members on Darwin’s ambitions? What role did female relatives such as his mother Susannah Darwin (née Wedgwood) and his sister Caroline have on Darwin’s formation as a scientist?



Statue Darwin with Shrewsbury Library (formerly Darwin’s school) in the background


Keynote Speakers:

Professor Cynthia Burek- Professor of Geoconservation (University of Chester): ‘Darwin and early female geologists – Shropshire’s GeoDiversity explored.’

 Dr Jude Piesse – Lecturer in English Literature, Liverpool John Moores University, author of The Ghost in the Garden: The Life and Times of Darwin’s Childhood Garden (forthcoming, 2021). ‘The Mount Doves and Other Tales: A Return to Darwin’s Childhood Garden.’

We invite abstracts of 300 words on all aspects of Darwin’s life and work in Shrewsbury. Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Early years and parenting
  • Family friends/acquaintances
  • Wedgwood/Darwin cultural influences
  • Religion/ Unitarian connections
  • Education
  • Science/ Geology
  • Gardens
  • Shrewsbury/Shropshire’s natural spaces


If you would like to present a paper at this event please submit a 300-word abstract to Gaynor Llewellyn-Jenkins or Sophie Rogers, by 30th April 2020.

This post has been re-published by permission from the BAVS Postgraduates Blog. Please see the original post at