Most research in biogeography today is based on a 146-year-old model that divides the world into six regions. These so-called Sclaterian regions were originally proposed by lawyer and zoologist Philip Lutley Sclater on the basis of the global distribution of birds, and subsequently adopted by researchers across the life sciences. They became the foundation for research into the geographic distribution of living organisms, which, in turn, became a component of one of the nineteenth century’s most contested scientific phenomena: Evolution. Today most biologists take the existence of the Sclaterian regions for granted, yet they are the product of centuries of classificatory work on living organisms, experimental research into the environment’s influence on their behavior and physical appearance, and negotiations of the epistemic borders of scientific disciplines. The Sclaterian regions are, in short, a powerful yet little-researched scientific tool of extraordinary endurance. In this talk, Brooke Penaloza-Patzak discusses how and why the Sclaterian regions came to entwine different fields of inquiry and animate hierarchical notions about the origins and development of humans and other animals.

Brooke Penaloza-Patzak is interested in scientific practice and the production of knowledge and is currently finishing her first book, With Objects at Hand. The Rise and Fall of the Natural Science of Human Culture, 1860–1930.


Start: 03.06.2024, 18:15
Ende: 03.06.2024, 19:15




ifk Internationales Forschungszentrum Kulturwissenschaften | Kunstuniversität Linz in Wien
Reichsratsstraße 17
1010 Wien


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Stefanie Obermeir

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