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Center for the Humanities of Nature

Zerstörte Walhalle nach Bombenangriffen im Zweiten Weltkrieg

The Center for the Humanities of Nature brings together scholars and practitioners from the history of science, science and technology studies, the sociology of science and sustainability, cultural studies, museum studies and the arts. They focus on the politics, histories and cultures of nature through original research and public engagements in the field of knowledge transfer. Their objective is to support critical self-reflection within natural history museums and biodiversity sciences, to develop theoretical and practical tools for examining the relations between nature, culture and politics, and to advance novel collaborative knowledge practices. 

The research associates lead and engage in third-party funded research projects, publish articles and books, organise workshops and conferences, provide expert knowledge, curate exhibitions and participate in many national and international networks and associations.

Current thematic focal points encompass the relations and traffics between the Museum für Naturkunde and the Zoologische Garten AG Berlin; the history and presents of the Kunstkammer; the colonial provenance of natural history collection and collecting; the history of collections, exhibitions and museums; the datafication of nature and environments; socio-political contexts of biodiversity; the history and future of museum architectures; and artistic interventions in museum spaces.

The Center for the Humanities of Nature organises a regular colloquium. You can find the current programme here: 

  • 19.06.24 Maddalena Napolitani and Clotilde Savatier, Museo Galileo: "From the Extraction to the Exhibition «Collectible Minerals» (Ecole des Mines’ mineralogy museum, Paris)"
  • 26.06.24 Sebastian Felten, University of Vienna: "Before Resources: Managing Mineral “Treasures” in Early Modern Central Europe"
  • 03.07.24 David Gelsthorpe, Manchester Museum: "Decolonising Manchester's and the Ripples of Sector Change"
  • 10.07.24 Carrie Robbins and Selby Hearth, Bryn Mawr College: "Minerals, Knowledge Production, and Colonial Legacies"

You can find previous programmes here:

If you would like to receive information about the colloquium or other events, please send us an email. We will be happy to add you to our (Mailchimp) mailing list, unlisting is possible at any time.

Current research projects

Completed research projects