Moral Entanglements: The Emergence and Transformation of Bird Conservation in Great Britain and Germany, 1800-2000


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships




This project investigates the emergence and transformation of moral concern for the conservation of wild birds in Great Britain and Germany from the early nineteenth century to the present. Contrary to the predominant view in the social sciences, this study demonstrates that the emergence of a concern for conservation is not an anti-, counter-, or post-modern departure from the previous course of modernity, but part and parcel of modernity as we know it. Bird conservation as the earliest and most vigorous expression of the concern for species conservation developed gradually out of already existing social forms. The embeddedness of the development of bird conservation within long-established practices and institutions is captured by the project’s title “moral entanglements."