5 May 2017
King’s Museum, University of Aberdeen

This workshop is organised as one of the highlight events for the ‘Aberdonians in the Americas: Migrants and Adventurers from Mexico to Paraguay’ exhibition, to be held at the King’s Museum at the University of Aberdeen, from December to June 2017.

This workshop asks, how does study of the global trajectories of objects and individuals challenge our understandings of ‘provincial’ or ‘peripheral’ science? What role did access to ‘global’ networks and resources play in the building of provincial science cultures? What happens to understandings of power relationships and sites of knowledge production when we re-define concepts of centres and peripheries? Thus, this workshop seeks to contribute to a history of scientific networks and exchanges, through ‘following’ objects, animals and individuals, in a manner that is attentive to the transformations, changes, misunderstandings and multiple layers of meanings that these exchanges create. The geographic networks that the workshop examines, seeking to understand the ‘somewhere’ of natural history will link the Amazon to Aberdeen; the Andes, Australia and the Caribbean to England; and Antarctica to Belfast, while being attentive to each and all of these sites as contested centres of scientific knowledge production.

The morning session will feature Helen Cowie (University of York), Diarmid Finnegan (Queen’s University, Belfast) and Patience Schell (University of Aberdeen). The afternoon session will feature Jim Endersby (University of Sussex) and Anne Secord (University of Cambridge).


9:30 – 9:50 Tea & coffee

9:50-10:00 Welcome & opening


Session chair: Ben Marsden (University of Aberdeen)

Diarmid Finnegan (Queen’s University Belfast): ‘Francis Crozier’s Penguin: An Object History of Maritime and Museum Science’.

Patience Schell (University of Aberdeen): ‘Mata-mata Turtles, Palm Specimens and Poisoned Arrows: Object Circulation and the Career of Prof. James Trail’.

11:00-11:15 Tea break

11:15- 12:00

Session chair: Manon Mathias (Universit of Aberdeen)

Helen Cowie (University of York): ‘From Woolly Wonder to Wonder Wool: The Alpaca in 19th-Century Britain’


Opportunity to visit the King’s Museum exhibition, ‘Aberdonians in the Americas: Adventurers and Migrants from Mexico to Paraguay’ and the Cruickshank Botanic Garden

12:45-1:30 lunch (provided in the workshop venue for registered attendees and speakers)


Session chair: Ralph O’Connor (University of Aberdeen)

Jim Endersby (University of Sussex): ‘The Tangled Web; Collecting and Compliance’.

Anne Secord (Cambridge University): ‘A Lancashire artisan abroad: George Caley as Joseph Banks’s collector’


Session chair: Patience Schell (University of Aberdeen)

Final discussion and close

Registration is free, but spaces are limited due to catering requirements.

Please register at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/provincial-collectorsglobal-opportunitiesworkshop-tickets-32917403841. If you have any questions, please contact the workshop organiser, Patience Schell ([email protected]).