The Humanities of Nature bring 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.
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Current research projects
- Provenance research under the spotlight
- Animals as Objects
- 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
- Heavy Gifts
- User Imaginaries in Digital Natural History
- Civic Digitization
- Research Cluster: OpenHeritage
- Bureau for troubles
Completed research projects
- 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