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 programme here:
The Politics of Conservation
A digital colloquium organized by Humanities of Nature in cooperation with "Museums and Society: Mapping the social" (Berlin University Alliance) Wednesdays, 1-2pm CET
- 03.05.23 Dr. Mordecai Ogada, Conservation Solutions Afrika: "Green Colonialism: The New Empires"
- 10.05.23 Dr. Wilhelm Kiwango, Dodoma University: "Convivial Conservation and the entangled history of Protected Areas in the Global South: Prospects and Challenges"
- 17.05.23 Sanchita Balachandran, Johns Hopkins University: "'May I know how you kill them to preserve them as specimens?' Life and Death in the Conservation Laboratory"
- 24.05.23 Dr. Frank Matose, University of Cape Town: "The Violence of Conservation in Africa: Rethinking alternatives"
- 07.06.23 Prof. Dr. Noémie Étienne, University of Vienna, and Dr. Lotte Arndt, TU Berlin: "Contested conservation"
- 14.06.23 Prof. Dr. Aby Sène-Harper, Clemson University: "From Biodiversity to Capital: Shifting Grounds in African Conservation"
- 21.06.23 Prof. Dr. Esther Turnhout, University of Twente: "Animating plural natures: knowledge and practice beyond conservation"
- 05.07.23 Prof. Dr. Rosaleen Duffy, University of Sheffield: "Security and Conservation: A Political Ecology Analysis of Strategies to Tackle the Illegal Wildlife Trade"
- 12.07.23 Prof. Dr. Prakash Kashwan, Brandeis University: "Conceptualizing and Realizing Ecological Justice in an Unequal World"
Please register here:
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
- A Window on Nature and Art
- Museums and Society: Mapping the Social
- Colonial Provenances of Nature
- Guidelines on Dealing with Natural History Collections from Colonial Contexts
- Rocky Pasts?
- User Imaginaries in Digital Natural History
- Civic Digitization
- Research Cluster: OpenHeritage
- Bureau for troubles
Completed research projects
- Provenance research under the spotlight
- Animals as Objects
- Lecture series: Animals as objects?
- The Trained Animal
- Architectural Legacy. The Visual Representation of Natural History
- Art/Nature. Artistic Interventions at the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin
- New edition 2020: The nature of things
- Cuban Corals in East-Berlin
- Berlin's Brachiosaurus as an Object of Knowledge
- Dinosaurs in Berlin
- Cliff If Felsen
- The image collection of Georg August Zenker in the Historical Division
- Günter Tembrock and the Red Foxes