Visiting Assistant Professor
B.A., History of Science, Medicine & Technology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 2012
M.A., History of Science, Princeton University, 2015
Ph.D., History of Science, Princeton University, 2019
Elaine Ayers is a historian of science who works on the entangled histories of natural history, colonialism, and collecting. Her book manuscript focuses on botanical collecting in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and her newest project examines the history of gender, sexuality, and race in the making of "natural" environments, from the cultures of collecting to the politics of preservation. She also works on the politics and poetics of bodily display in museum collections. Ayers has written for publications including Slate, Cabinet Magazine, and Hyperallergic, and is a contributing editor at The Public Domain Review. She consults at natural history museums and botanical gardens around the world. Her work has been supported by the New York Botanical Garden, the Yale Center for British Art, the National Science Foundation, the Huntington Library and Botanical Garden, and the Consortium for the History of Science, Medicine and Technology, among others. She is currently working on a National Endowment for the Humanities grant in collaboration with colleagues at NYU Tandon and the New York Botanical Garden. She works with NYU's Digital Humanities Program and previously taught in NYU's Program in Museum Studies.
history of science; colonialism; collecting; public history; gender and sexuality; natural history; botany; museum studies; digital humanities; scientific illustration.