Ecological Networks and Transfers in Colonial Contexts, c. 1850-1920

Ecological Networks and Transfers in Colonial Contexts, c. 1850-1920

PD Dr. Ulrike Kirchberger, Fachbereich Gesellschaftswissenschaften, Universität Kassel
Universität Kassel
From - Until
26.06.2015 - 27.06.2015
Ulrike Kirchberger

The ecological consequences of European colonialism have received much attention in recent years. It is well known that European emigrants and settlers initiated long-distance transfers of plants and animals which changed the natural environments of the colonies and motherlands substantially. By applying methodological approaches from new disciplines such as animal studies and animal geography, this conference aims to challenge the anthropocentric perspective which has dominated the historiography of “ecological imperialism” so far. Building up on the concept of placing animals and plants in the centre of social analysis (ANT), it is intended to reassess the relationship between human and non-human migration in the context of colonial expansion. The conference wants to provide a forum to discuss in how far we have to revise traditional interpretations of the origins of colonial dynamics if we regard animals and plants as actors that influenced or caused migratory processes and, as a result, were responsible for social, economic and political developments.

Invited are paper proposals which deal with
- the transfer and migration of individual species of animals and plants
- the global networks and institutional centres of ecological transfer: acclimatization societies, botanical and zoological gardens, and colonial research stations
- ecological transfers and migrations which could not be controlled by humans
- conservationist ideas which developed in the context of animal and plant transfers
- particularly welcome would be proposals which address methodological problems concerning the relations between animal studies, environmental history and the history of science

The University of Kassel will provide funding to cover the costs for hotel accommodation. Travel expenses will have to be paid for by the participants themselves.

If you are interested in participating, please send a proposal of no more than 500 words along with a short CV to

Deadline: 31 January 2015


Contact (announcement)

Ulrike Kirchberger

Fachbereich Gesellschaftswissenschaften, Universität Kassel, Nora-Platiel-Str. 1, 34109 Kassel

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