Modern Nature: The Rise of the Biological Perspective in Germany

  • ISBN13:


  • ISBN10:


  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2009-05-01
  • Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
  • Purchase Benefits
  • Free Shipping On Orders Over $35!
    Your order must be $35 or more to qualify for free economy shipping. Bulk sales, PO's, Marketplace items, eBooks and apparel do not qualify for this offer.
  • Get Rewarded for Ordering Your Textbooks! Enroll Now
List Price: $53.00 Save up to $1.59
  • Buy New
    Add to Cart Free Shipping


Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.


InModern Nature,Lynn K. Nyhart traces the emergence of a "biological perspective" in late nineteenth-century Germany that emphasized the dynamic relationships among organisms, and between organisms and their environment. Examining this approach to nature in light of Germany's fraught urbanization and industrialization, as well the opportunities presented by new and reforming institutions, she argues that rapid social change drew attention to the role of social relationships and physical environments in rendering a societyand naturewhole, functional, and healthy. This quintessentially modern view of nature, Nyhart shows, stood in stark contrast to the standard naturalist's orientation toward classification. While this new biological perspective would eventually grow into the academic discipline of ecology,Modern Naturelocates its roots outside the universities, in a vibrant realm of populist natural history inhabited by taxidermists and zookeepers, schoolteachers and museum reformers, amateur enthusiasts and nature protectionists. Probing the populist beginnings of animal ecology in Germany, Nyhart unites the history of popular natural history with that of elite science in a new way. In doing so, she brings to light a major orientation in late nineteenth-century biology that has long been eclipsed by Darwinism.

Author Biography

Lynn K. Nyhart is professor of history of science at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and author of Biology Takes Form: Animal Morphology and the German University, 1800–1900, also published by the University of Chicago Press.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Introduction: The Biological Perspective and the Problem of a Modern Naturep. 1
Identity, Mobility, and Placep. 8
Popular Science and Populist Natural Historyp. 15
The Biological Perspective and the History of Biologyp. 20
Ghosts and Shadowsp. 25
Tracing the Biological Perspectivep. 31
Bringing Life to Natural Historyp. 35
Practical and Popular Natural Historyp. 35
The Taxidermic Lifep. 38
Against the "Terrorism of System": Martin on Taxidermic Displaysp. 50
Stuttgart: Representing Nature for the Fatherlandp. 56
Commercial Displays: Nature as Spectaclep. 61
Bringing Nature's Past to Lifep. 67
Public/Private, Science/Art, Elite/Popular: Natural History Institutions and Valuesp. 74
The World in Miniature: Practical Natural History and the Zoo Movementp. 79
The Zoo as a Cultural Institutionp. 83
Designing a World in Miniaturep. 92
Caring for Animals: From Daily Life to Nature Protectionp. 107
The Circulation of People and Ideasp. 117
Conclusionp. 123
From Practice to Theory: Karl Möet;bius and the Lebensgemeinschaftp. 125
Karl Möet;bius: Upwardly Striving Youthp. 127
Natural History in Hamburgp. 130
Natural History Activistp. 132
The Fauna of the Kiel Fjordp. 138
From Hamburg to Kielp. 145
The Oyster and Oyster-Culturep. 152
Conclusion: Social Mobility and Ecological Theoryp. 158
The "Living Community" in the Classroomp. 161
Natural History and School Reformp. 165
Friedrich Junge and The Village Pondp. 173
The Spread of the Village Pond Gospelp. 181
The Village Pond Curriculum as Heimatkundep. 192
Conclusionp. 195
Reforming the Natural History Museum, 1880-1900p. 198
The Emergence of the Professional Curatorp. 203
The Institutional Landscapep. 214
Dual Arrangementp. 223
The Museum as a Center for Biological Knowledgep. 240
Conclusionp. 246
Biological Groups, Nature, and Culture in the Museump. 251
The Kunde Projectsp. 253
The Museum füet;r Natur-, Vöet;lker-, und Handelskunde in Bremen (1896)p. 257
The Altona City Museum (1901) and Heimatkundep. 268
The Museum füet;r Meereskunde (1906)p. 278
Biological Groups, Modernity, and the Representation of Naturep. 289
From Biology to Ecologyp. 293
Biologie and Secondary School Reformp. 295
Biologie as Popular Natural Historyp. 307
From Biology to Ecologyp. 314
Pedagogical, Popular, and Professional Ecologyp. 320
Museum Research and the Rise of Ecological Animal Geographyp. 323
Exploring Life in the Oceanp. 325
Making Animal Geography Ecologicalp. 333
Ecological versus Historical Zoogeographyp. 344
Ecological Animal Geography and the German Natural History Museump. 352
Modern Naturep. 355
Bibliographyp. 369
Indexp. 413
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

Rewards Program

Write a Review