Reconstructing Histories through the Transmission of Material Culture

Catherine Brooke Penaloza Patzak, BA MA (Institut für Geschichte, Universität Wien)


Dienstag, 30. Mai 2017 um 18 Uhr c.t.

Institut für Klassische Archäologie
1190 Wien, Franz-Klein-Gasse 1, 1. Stock, Seminarraum 12

During the past decade or so material culture and migration studies have become increasingly important for the history of science. Be that as it may, scholars have been slow to consider the two in relation. Drawing from the history of science, migration studies and material culture studies, this research highlights the utility of objects of material culture as historical documents of international scientific networks, circulation, and development. Based on case studies found during the course of archival and collections research at the Berlin Ethnographic Museum, the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C., the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, and F. Boas´ professional correspondence at the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia, this presentation focuses on the relationship between the historical migration of scientists during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the scientific networks they developed, and the circulation of material culture within those networks. The premise of this work is that the circulation of scientists and their tools—in this case ethnographic objects—are of comparable and complimentary utility in the analysis of the development of modern science.