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Zootopia: History of Zoological Gardens in the Romanov Empire

This project studies the history of zoological gardens in the Romanov Empire as modern and global educational institutions which appeared in the empire during the second half of the 19th century. By focusing on zoos, animals, and the people who founded these institutions and visited them, it opens a window onto a hitherto unknown cultural and social history of the empire. One of the crucial aims of the project is to study the history of the Romanov zoos in the global context of the time. In this way the project, on the one hand, decentres the world history of zoos in the nineteenth century which, until now, has been approached from a predominantely Western perspective. On the other hand, by highlighting the interconnections between the national, social, and global intentions of the actors involved in this history, the project globalises the history of the Romanov Empire.

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