Animal Globalism: Zoos, Slaughterhouses, and the City in the 19th Century

This event on October 25, at the German Center for Research and Innovation New York, will discuss the links between the rise of modern metropoles and the emergence of zoological gardens and industrial slaughterhouses.
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* Berlin Zoo
* Chicago stockyards
* Urbanization
* Berlin
* Chicago

* Society
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* New York City - New York - US

Oct. 19, 2012 - PRLog -- Scholars usually explain the growth of cities in purely human terms. But in order to fully understand the emergence of modern metropoles, Prof. Dorothee Brantz also researches the role of non-human factors in the rise of urban space. She believes that the history of cities should not be understood in opposition to nature, but rather as the formation of a ‘second nature’ in urban space. Her presentation on October 25 will use the Berlin Zoo and the Chicago stockyards as examples of how animals have shaped the global rise of these two cities.

Founded in 1844, the Berlin Zoo forged new linkages between metropole and empire by exhibiting exotic animals as a symbol of imperial ambitions. At the same time, the zoo also exemplified the western claim that humans dominated nature. While zoos primarily signified the cultural expansion of metropoles, slaughterhouses, such as the stockyards of Chicago, attested to the growing economic networks that incorporated humans, animals, and their products into expanding global market structures. The Chicago stockyards, which were established in 1865, serve as an early example of the close connection between metropolitan growth, the exploitation of natural resources, and the establishment of global markets.

Prof. Dorothee Brantz, whose research centers on comparative urban environmental history, has been the director of the Center for Metropolitan Studies at the Technische Universität Berlin since 2009. As of 2012, she also heads the International Graduate Program “The World in the City: Metropolitanism and Globalization from the Nineteenth Century to the Present,” which is a collaboration between three universities in Berlin (Freie Universität, Humboldt Universität, Technische Universität), four universities in New York (Columbia, CUNY, Fordham, NYU), and two universities in Toronto (University of Toronto, York University).

The discussion will be moderated by Prof. Rosemary Wakeman, the Director of the Urban Studies Program at Fordham University.

The discussion will take place on Thursday, October 25, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m., at the German House New York (871 United Nations Plaza, First Avenue, btw. 48th & 49th Streets). To RSVP by October 23, click

Unable to attend? A video recording will be available on shortly after the event.

The event is co-sponsored by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the world’s largest funding organization supporting the international exchange of students and scholars.

The German Center for Research and Innovation (GCRI) provides information and support for the realization of cooperative and collaborative projects between North America and Germany. With the goal of enhancing communication on the critical challenges of the 21st century, GCRI hosts a wide range of events from lectures and exhibitions to workshops and science dinners. Opened in February 2010, GCRI was created as a cornerstone of the German government’s initiative to internationalize science and research and is one of five German Houses of Research and Innovation worldwide.
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Tags:Berlin Zoo, Chicago stockyards, Urbanization, Berlin, Chicago
Industry:Society, Research
Location:New York City - New York - United States
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