Event Title

Inadvertent Naturalists: Turgenev, Aksakov, and Russia's New Ornithology

Presenter Information

Walker Griggs, Oberlin CollegeFollow

Location

King Building 325

Document Type

Event

Start Date

4-28-2017 4:30 PM

End Date

4-28-2017 5:50 PM

Abstract

This research examines the influence of hunter-authors Ivan Turgenev and Sergei Aksakov on 19th-century Russian science writing and vice versa, particularly on the subject of birds. Prior scientific writing both within and outside of Russia, focusing on taxonomy and anatomy, appealed to a highly select, academic audience. This research explores how the literary contributions of Turgenev and Aksakov helped to popularize ecological thought in Russia, and how biologists, namely Nikolai Severtsov and Charles Roullier, adapted their scientific publications to be more holistic, popular, and literary. It also investigates the reverse relationship – the influence of science on Aksakov’s hunting guides and Turgenev’s fiction. Most prior research in this field deals with authors and scientists separately. Examining the relationship between literature and science using birds as a case study enables a new understanding of early Russian thought on the natural world.

Keywords:

Russia, birds, Turgenev, Aksakov, Severtsov, 19th-century, science, hunting, ornithology, historical ecology

Notes

Session III, Panel 19 - Russian | Narratives
Moderator: Arlene Forman, Chair and Associate Professor of Russian & East European Studies

Major

Russian; Biology

Advisor(s)

Arlene Forman, Russian
Taylor Allen, Biology

Project Mentor(s)

Tom Newlin, Russian

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Apr 28th, 4:30 PM Apr 28th, 5:50 PM

Inadvertent Naturalists: Turgenev, Aksakov, and Russia's New Ornithology

King Building 325

This research examines the influence of hunter-authors Ivan Turgenev and Sergei Aksakov on 19th-century Russian science writing and vice versa, particularly on the subject of birds. Prior scientific writing both within and outside of Russia, focusing on taxonomy and anatomy, appealed to a highly select, academic audience. This research explores how the literary contributions of Turgenev and Aksakov helped to popularize ecological thought in Russia, and how biologists, namely Nikolai Severtsov and Charles Roullier, adapted their scientific publications to be more holistic, popular, and literary. It also investigates the reverse relationship – the influence of science on Aksakov’s hunting guides and Turgenev’s fiction. Most prior research in this field deals with authors and scientists separately. Examining the relationship between literature and science using birds as a case study enables a new understanding of early Russian thought on the natural world.