CFP: “Visual, Material and Sensory Cultures of Zoological Gardens” (for ESHS conference, Bologna, Aug/Sept 2020)

The European Society for the History of Science will meet in Bologna, 31 August - 3 September 2020. Given that the conference theme is “Visual, Material and Sensory Cultures of Science” we would like to propose a session on
“Visual, Material and Sensory Cultures of Zoological Gardens”
In the last twenty years or so, the history of zoological gardens has been the topic of a considerable number of innovate studies, including the history of science, cultural studies, human-animal-studies and adjoining fields. Nevertheless, many questions have only been addressed in a very tentative manner. Leaving behind a rather institutional historiography we would like to get to the nitty-gritty details of the zoo. This session would like to focus for example on issues such as the experiences of visitors in all its sensory richness. How are the exotic animals “seen” and how do the displays change over time? Yet it is also interested in the concrete make-up and functioning of the zoo: how it is run on a day-to-day basis, how are animal houses build and maintained, how animals are cared for (or nor) and by whom. This also leads on to questions of how the zoo is connected with the outer world. How do the living animals get into the zoo and what happens to them once they die? How are zoos connected with each other and how does knowledge on how to run a zoo circulate among them?
We would very much welcome proposals relating to these or similar questions. Case studies may deal with zoos from anywhere in the world from the nineteenth century to the present.
Please send your abstracts by December 13th to Oliver Hochadel. Remember the submission requirements of the ESHS:

1. Title
2. Author(s) (full name(s), academic title, institution, address,
email and a short biographical note of max.150 words). In case of
multiple authors the first author should be the presenting and
corresponding author.
3. Abstract (max. 300 words, including possible references)
4. Keywords (3)