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Objects, disciplines and the Manchester Museum

At the turn of the nineteenth century, museums in Europe and North America were at their largest and most powerful. New buildings were bigger; objects flooded into them, and more people visited them than ever before. The Manchester Museum is an ideal candidate for understanding cultures of display in twentieth-century Britain. It is a treasure trove of some four million priceless objects that are irreplaceable and unique. Like many large European collections, the origins of the Manchester Museum are to be found in a private cabinet: that of John Leigh Philips. This book traces the fate of his cabinet from his death in 1814. The establishment of the Manchester Natural History Society (MNHS) allowed naturalists to carve out a space in Manchester's cultural landscape. The Manchester Museum's development was profoundly affected by the history of the University in which it operated. In January 1868, the Natural History Society formally dissolved, and an interim commission took control of its collections; the Manchester Geological Society transferred its collections the following year. The new collection was to be purely scientific, comprising geology, zoology and botany, with no place for some of the more exotic specimens of the Society. The objects in the collection became part of Manchester's civic identity, bringing with them traces of science, empire and the exotic. Other museological changes were afoot in the 1990s. Natural history collections became key sites for public engagement with environmental issues and biodiversity and more recently as sites for exhibiting art.

Suriname under Dutch rule, 1750– 1950

Explaining how leprosy was considered in various historical settings by referring to categories of uncleanliness in antiquity, is problematic. The book historicizes how leprosy has been framed and addressed. It investigates the history of leprosy in Suriname, a plantation society where the vast majority of the population consisted of imported slaves from Africa. The relationship between the modern stigmatization and exclusion of people affected with leprosy, and the political tensions and racial fears originating in colonial slave society, exerting their influence until after the decolonization up to the present day. The book explores leprosy management on the black side of the medical market in the age of slavery as contrasted with the white side. The difference in perspectives on leprosy between African slaves and European masters contributed to the development of the 'Great Confinement' policies, and leprosy sufferers were sent to the Batavia leprosy asylum. Dutch debates about leprosy took place when the threat of a 'return' of leprosy to the Netherlands appeared to materialise. A symbiotic alliance for leprosy care that had formed between the colonial state and the Catholics earlier in the nineteenth century was renegotiated within the transforming landscape of Surinamese society to incorporate Protestants as well. By 1935, Dutch colonial medicine had dammed the growing danger of leprosy by using the modern policies of detection and treatment. Dutch doctors and public health officials tried to come to grips with the Afro-Surinamese belief in treef and its influence on the execution of public health policies.

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Scientific disciplines in the museum
Samuel J.M.M. Alberti

2 Nature: scientific disciplines in the museum In the autumn of 1887, the British Association for the Advancement of Science held its annual meeting in Manchester, a city at the forefront of the second industrial revolution. The meeting was packed with scientific celebrities, including the chemist Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev and the naturalists Sir William Thiselton-Dyer, E. Ray Lankester and Asa Gray. Owens College staff were energetic hosts, not least as they prepared their new museum for its first opening. William Boyd Dawkins, in his final act as curator of

in Nature and culture
Social and cultural modernity beyond the nation-state

German philosopher Jürgen Habermas has written extensively on the European Union. This is the only in-depth account of his project. Published now in a second edition to coincide with the celebration of his ninetieth birthday, a new preface considers Habermas’s writings on the eurozone and refugee crises, populism and Brexit, and the presidency of Emmanuel Macron.

Placing an emphasis on the conception of the EU that informs Habermas’s political prescriptions, the book is divided into two main parts. The first considers the unfolding of 'social modernity' at the level of the EU. Among the subjects covered are Habermas's concept of juridification, the latter's affinities with integration theories such as neofunctionalism, and the application of Habermas's democratic theory to the EU. The second part addresses 'cultural modernity' in Europe – 'Europessimism' is argued to be a subset of the broader cultural pessimism that assailed the project of modernity in the late twentieth century, and with renewed intensity in the years since 9/11.

Interdisciplinary in approach, this book engages with European/EU studies, critical theory, political theory, international relations, intellectual history, comparative literature, and philosophy. Concise and clearly written, it will be of interest to students, scholars and professionals with an interest in these disciplines, as well as to a broader readership concerned with the future of Europe

Open Access (free)
Design and material culture in Soviet Russia, 1960s–80s

The major part of this book project was funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 700913.

This book is about two distinct but related professional cultures in late Soviet Russia that were concerned with material objects: industrial design and decorative art. The Russian avant-garde of the 1920s is broadly recognised to have been Russia’s first truly original contribution to world culture. In contrast, Soviet design of the post-war period is often dismissed as hackwork and plagiarism that resulted in a shabby world of commodities. This book identifies the second historical attempt at creating a powerful alternative to capitalist commodities in the Cold War era. It offers a new perspective on the history of Soviet material culture by focusing on the notion of the ‘comradely object’ as an agent of progressive social relations that state-sponsored Soviet design inherited from the avant-garde. It introduces a shared history of domestic objects, handmade as well as machine-made, mass-produced as well as unique, utilitarian as well as challenging the conventional notion of utility. Situated at the intersection of intellectual history, social history and material culture studies, this book elucidates the complexities and contradictions of Soviet design that echoed international tendencies of the late twentieth century. The book is addressed to design historians, art historians, scholars of material culture, historians of Russia and the USSR, as well as museum and gallery curators, artists and designers, and the broader public interested in modern aesthetics, art and design, and/or the legacy of socialist regimes.

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Anna Green
Kathleen Troup

history its status as a scientific discipline’ alongside ‘the commitment of this scientific discipline to understanding past realities “in their own terms”’. The latter may involve examining ‘past modes of past-time consciousness that are inimical to the scientific commitment of the discipline’. 16 The ongoing dominance of Western historiography is still our reality but is being challenged. 17 We have seen how the work of individual historians, and history in general, has been energized by multiple, changing perspectives. Historians have integrated these schools of

in The houses of history
Dane Kennedy

the Soviet Union gave a quasi-imperial impetus to the agenda of area studies programmes, the pride that the waning European empires had placed in explorers and their adventures retained little relevance to this new confluence of knowledge and power. Meanwhile, the scientific disciplines that had arisen in association with exploration and empire – botany, zoology, geography, geology and anthropology

in Writing imperial histories
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Matthew G. Stanard

transnationally and comparatively. Doing so shows that in a surprising number of ways, European states engaged in similar practices and took hold of remarkably comparable ideas and sentiments in regard to their overseas empires. For example, all states made a special effort to instill pro-empire sentiments among young people, and for each the colonies played an important role in the validation of scientific

in European empires and the people
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Museum historiographies
Samuel J.M.M. Alberti

.), Perspectives on the Emergence of Scientific Disciplines (The Hague: Mouton, 1976); E. Messer-Davidow et al. (eds), Knowledges: Historical and Critical Studies in Disciplinarity (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1993); J. V. Pickstone, ‘Science in nineteenth-century England: plural configurations and singular politics’, in M. J. Daunton (ed.), The Organisation of Knowledge in Victorian Britain (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), pp. 29–60; R. Stichweh, ‘The sociology of scientific disciplines: on the genesis and stability of the disciplinary structure of

in Nature and culture
The meaning of Shils
Thomas Schneider

by Parsons and others, alongside other contributions, and, as the subheading illustrates, basic Foundations of Modern Sociological Theory of that time (Parsons et al., 1961). In this essay, which, given its language and length, truly can be read as a sociological manifesto, Shils explores his vision of sociology as a human science. According to Shils, it was the wide distribution of Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalysis as well as the pioneering work of Talcott Parsons which helped to establish sociology as a widely recognized scientific discipline after the Second World

in The calling of social thought