Jun 2-3, 2016
Birders of Africa: The Politics of a Network
- 09:00 to 17:00
- Dept. III
- Nancy Jacobs
June 2, 14:30–16:00: Public Lecture + Q&A
Speaker: Nancy Jacobs, Department of History, Brown University
Abstract: In colonial Africa, bird experts came in two varieties: hunters, farmers, and healers (a category I call vernacular birders) and ornithologists. Every place in the world has vernacular birders, but outside the settler societies of the south, in Africa they were black. Operating in the scientific disciplines of European empires, the ornithologists were all white. The congruence of knowledge traditions and race inscribed a bright boundary between types of birders. Yet, they worked together. Moreover, despite the exclusions of empire and science, African vernacular birders could find independent meaning in the collaboration. The politics of this interaction were fed by racialized authorship, the different nature of facts, and historic African strategies of self-construction.
June 3, 10:00–12:00: Workshop
The members of the working group will convene with the guest speaker (and anyone else interested) for a more in-depth discussion of the challenges of analyzing judgements.
Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte, Boltzmannstraße 22, 14195 Berlin, Germany
Contact and Registration
About This Series
With this speakers' series the Art of Judgement Working Group fosters discussions about the role of judgements, based as they are on both existing expertise and political and ethical choices, in the formation of scientific and technological knowledge and in planning. The series carries themes broached by the group to an institute-wide audience to catalyze the development of ideas and connections.
The guest speakers address the various, occasionally unexpected ways judgements have been understood, validated, and acted upon by historical actors. Of particular relevance is here the analysis of matters of objectivity, subjectivity, and reliability and of how these relate to the production of judgements in a variety of fields of inquiry.