Department of History of Science and Ideas

Dominik Hünniger: "Novelties, improvements and translations. The role of specialised entomological journals in the making of the discipline in Central Europe, ca. 1800"

  • Date: 9/8/2015 at 1:15 PM 3:00 PM
  • Location: Engelska parken - The Rausing Room
  • Organiser: Department of History of Science and Ideas, Office for History of Science
  • Contact person: H. Otto Sibum
  • Seminarium

Office for History of Science

Dominik Hünniger, Lichtenberg-Kolleg, University of Goettingen: "Novelties, improvements and translations. The role of specialised entomological journals in the making of the discipline in Central Europe, ca. 1800"
 

Abstract
The second half of the 18th century witnessed a growing academic interest in insects and these decades are an important era for the development of entomology as an academic subject. Of course, the roots of this development were already laid out during the “scientific revolution”, the renaissance, and also had deeper roots in classical antiquity. However, the context of European exploration, expansion and colonialism as well as the parallel advancement of Linnaean systematics in botany and zoology caused paradigmatic changes in the pan-European perception, systematization and classification of insects. 

In their attempt to make sense of the exponentially increasing number of “creepy-crawlies” in their or other’s cabinets and collections, European natural historians, amateur collectors, noble enthusiasts and draughtsmen developed new systems of classification and communicated about their “objects” in letters, articles, monographs and multi-volume series. Furthermore, many of the actors involved in this process also travelled widely and exchanged their knowledge and objects in direct or indirect contact with each other. 

In my presentation I would like to analyse this process by looking at some specialised journals solely concerned with entomology that appeared around the turn from the 18th to the 19th century. These processes will be contextualized in view of the rising importance of academic journals as venues for international scholarly exchange and the production of knowledge and the disciplines.