Interdisziplinäre Ringvorlesung „Animals as Objects? Histories, Institutions, Infrastructures, Data, and Knowledge“

The interdisciplinary and international Ringvorlesung (RVL) "Animals as Objects? Histories, Institutions, Infrastructures, Data, and Knowledge" has been announced. The event series, running from November 2020 to February 2021, draws from both the research theme “The Body of Animals” in Department III at the MPIWG and the research project “Animals as Objects: Zoological Gardens and the Natural History Museum Berlin, 1810 to 2020” at Museum für Naturkunde, Zoologische Gärten, and Humboldt Universität, Berlin.

RVL 2020 Program

The series examines the role of animals in institutional and infrastructural arrangements, past and present, and investigates the processes by which animals are turned into objects—living zoo attractions, museum exhibits, diplomatic tokens, commodities, laboratory tools, data sets, and more. The aim is to understand the trajectories, traffics and transformations of animal-objects within and between different sites in their global, political, scientific, and cultural context. In what ways have animals been used, studied, and classified as objects? What has historically been made to count as an animal and what role do they play in signifying human socialities, just as much as the natural world? The RVL invites to engage in the work of historicizing "naturalized" views, of closely investigating the politics of care and the economics of conservation, of challenging a static notion of animals as "objects," and thereby critically interrogating traditional, still effective roles, meanings, orders of knowledge, images, and narratives of animals.


English and German.

Mondays, from 16:15 to 17:45.

Please register by emailing gloria.baur@mfn.berlin to receive the Zoom link and further technical information.