Museum, Laboratory, and Field Site: Graduate Training in Zoology at Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges, 1873-1934
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CitationTonn, Jenna Alexandra. 2015. Museum, Laboratory, and Field Site: Graduate Training in Zoology at Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges, 1873-1934. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
AbstractThis dissertation examines the development of graduate training in zoology at Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges under E. L. Mark between 1873 and 1934. It focuses on the changing spatial, institutional, and intellectual relationship between the Museum of Comparative Zoology and the Department of Zoology as a result of university-wide educational reforms that introduced teaching and research in the biological sciences to the curriculum in the nineteenth century.
Part I examines the Museum of Comparative Zoology’s relationship to the growth of elective instruction in natural history. Debates between the museum’s director, Alexander Agassiz, Harvard’s President Charles W. Eliot, and E. L. Mark hinged on the uncertain role that the museum was prepared to play as a site for undergraduate teaching. The creation of the department as an administrative unit in 1890, and the subsequent organization of the Department of Zoology, changed the balance of power between Agassiz and Mark and sparked demarcation conflicts over what counted as a teachable form of zoology.
Part II explores the scientific cultures of the Harvard and Radcliffe Zoological Laboratories. It addresses the laboratory as a physical site, a disciplinary space, a pedagogical tool, and a gendered social and scientific community. I reconstruct how Mark’s students experienced his idiosyncratic pedagogical system as part of their daily lives. A significant contribution of this dissertation is the examination of the Radcliffe Zoological Laboratory, a small room in the museum that Radcliffe College converted into a space for women pursuing zoological studies. Issues related to gender and debates about coeducation on campus reconfigured access to the practice of zoology, especially for Radcliffe graduate students.
Part III follows Mark’s laboratory to the field where he co-founded the Bermuda Biological Station for Research in 1903. Mark adapted his pedagogical systems to a new political and scientific environment in colonial British Bermuda. There, graduate training was understood through overlapping discourses of amateur natural history and middle-class leisure. Establishing a biological field station in an unpredictable colonial climate took priority over resistance to coeducation. This inadvertently turned the Bermuda station into an important destination for women seeking fieldwork experience in the twentieth century.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:23845445
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