Project C02: Zoological Human Differentiaiton

Behavioral Sciences in the Context of Decolonization and Disciplinary Establishment

The project analyzes the behavioral sciences as an authority of human categorization that studies the ‘social’ within animal behavior and, conversely, the ‘animalistic’ in human behavior. The project focuses on the Serengeti Research Institute (SRI) in Tanzania, which emerged as an important site for the production of biological, behavioral and conservation-related knowledge in the 20th century. It analyzes (1) the objectifying and anthropomorphizing language to describe animal behavior; (2) the postcolonial shift of racialized differences between European and Western scientists and Africans into categories of qualification or roles; (3) the spatial differentiations between humans and animals in Tanzania’s wildlife policies. It aims to show how categorical differences between humans and animals were bound up with categorizations between the human personnel of the research institute.

Project team
Prof. Dr. Johannes Paulmann (PI)
Dr. Bernhard Gißibl (Research Assistant)