Going Forth and Multiplying: Migration, Assimilation and Invasion in the Nineteenth Century


Public lecture by Prof Harriet Ritvo, Arthur J. Conner Prof of History, Massachusetts Inst of Tech

Start Date

25th Jun 2012 6:00pm

End Date

25th Jun 2012 7:30pm


Centenary Lecture Theatre, Grosvenor Cres, Sandy Bay campus

RSVP / Contact Information

For more information please contact the Centre for Colonialism and its Aftermath

The nineteenth century saw numerous transfers and attempted transfers of animal populations, mostly as the result of the spread of European agriculture. The exchange of animal populations facilitated by the acclimatisation societies that were established in Europe, North America and Australia, among other places, had more complicated meanings. Introduced aliens were often appreciated or deplored in the same terms that were applied to human migrants. Some animal acclimatisations were part of ambitious attempts to transform entire landscapes. Such transfers also broached or blurred the distinction between the domesticated and the wild. The intentional enhancement of the fauna of a region was a forceful assertion of human power. But most planned acclimatisations failed, if they moved beyond the drawing board. And those that succeeded also tended to undermine complacent assumptions about human control.