Tetiana Onofriichuk (Kiew)

Define the Distinction: Natural History in the Polish Provinces of the Russian Empire (1800-1840s)

13.06.2019 16:00 Uhr – 18:00 Uhr

After the incorporation of Volhynia and Podolia into the administrative structure of the Russian empire in the late 18th century, local self-trained botanists as well as amateur educated citizens unveiled their interest and contemplated the necessity to study the natural world of their provinces. To do so, they turned to the already known works on natural history by the French, German, and Swedish scientists. However, they not only appropriated foreign knowledge but also put emphasis on production and promulgation of local novelties, an emphasis they believed necessary given the political circumstances of their lands. Through analyzing the works of several provincial scientists and botanists, the presentation will address the political and national aspects of natural history in the region as well as discuss the role and place of a provincial naturalist in the Russian empire throughout the 1800s – 1840s.