Jenna Tonn

Ph.D. Candidate
Department of the History of Science
Harvard University

2012-2013 Dissertation Research Fellow

The Show-Room and the Workshop: The Laboratory within the Natural History Museum and the Development of American Biology, 1850 – 1935

Abstract: Through archival research and a close attention to interdisciplinary methods in the history of science, the history of architecture, and material culture, my dissertation reconstructs the American natural history museum as a unique site for the practice of modern biology between 1850 and 1935. Using two case studies – the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University and the Smithsonian U. S. National Museum – this project provides new insights into how the practice of experimental biology emerged from and inscribed itself on to the natural history museum. Reading the archival material germane to institutional histories of science (museum records, correspondence, curatorial reports, personal papers, and specimen accessioning records) against those often used to write architectural history (blue prints, construction photos, and architectural records) results in a rich and textured understanding of the spatial context in which knowledge about the natural world was produced.

Read Jenna’s report on her PACHS-sponsored research here.


Fellows News and Notes

September 16, 2015

Gathering the Animals: Natural History in America to 1815

August 13, 2015

Fellowship Selection Process

July 30, 2015

Treating the Black Body: Race and Medicine in American Culture, 1800-1861

July 21, 2015

Revolutions in the Atmosphere: Benjamin Rush’s Universal System of Medicine

June 30, 2015

Navigating the World: The Material Culture of Physical Mobility Impairment in the Early American North, 1700-1861

June 25, 2015

U.S. Biological Nativism and Japanese Invasions: Constituting Race through Transnational Public Health and Agriculture, 1880-1950

May 28, 2015

Historical Society of Pennsylvania releases journal issue with contributions from Consortium fellows

May 28, 2015

Congratulations to Douglas O’Reagan

May 28, 2015

Congratulations to Jonson Miller

May 28, 2015

Sarah Bridger publishes book with Harvard University Press

May 28, 2015

Congratulations to Nick Best

May 27, 2015

Congratulations to Nicole Belolan

May 25, 2015

Congratulations to Abe Gibson

May 23, 2015

Congratulations to Roberto Chauca Tapia

May 7, 2015

Heidi Hausse wins Mellon-ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship

April 28, 2015

One Hundred Years of Health: Changing Expectations for Aging Well in 20th Century America

February 24, 2015

Engineers as Servant-Leaders of the Old South

February 14, 2015

James Poskett Wins Adrian Research Fellowship

January 15, 2015

Congratulations to Joseph Martin

December 15, 2014

Carin Berkowitz Elected To HSS Governing Council

December 9, 2014

Congratulations to Susan Hanket Brandt

November 21, 2014

Congratulations to Abe Gibson

November 19, 2014

Congratulations to Benjamin Breen

November 19, 2014

Christopher Willoughby Awarded 1st Place Prize for Essay

November 18, 2014

Congratulations to Heidi Hausse

November 18, 2014

Congratulations to Jeffrey Brideau

November 18, 2014

The Unconscious Mind in America, 1880-1917

November 14, 2014

Lijing Jiang Awarded Postdoc at Nanyang Technological University

October 2, 2014

Remembering the Veteran: Disability, Trauma, and the American Civil War, 1861-1915

September 23, 2014

Thomas Wijck’s Painted Alchemists at the Intersection of Art, Science and Practice

September 15, 2014

Katherine Arner wins Postdoc at JHU

September 1, 2014

Congratulations to Kurt MacMillan

August 15, 2014

Jeannie Shinozuka Awarded Mellon Postdoc at Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

August 10, 2014

Rebecca Onion Signs Book Contract

August 10, 2014

Teasel Muir-Harmony Appointed Postdoc at AIP

August 10, 2014

Julia Mansfield Wins Fellowship

July 31, 2014

An Empire of Skulls: The History of The Samuel George Morton Cranial Collection and Scientific Collecting Practices in 19th Century Philadelphia

July 31, 2014

Terra Desconhecida: Nature, Knowledge, and Society in the Pantanal Wetlands of Brazil and Bolivia

July 31, 2014

Moving Beyond Vision: Eadweard Muybridge in Philadelphia

June 3, 2014

Chymical Medicine, Corpuscularism, and Controversy: A Study of Daniel Sennert’s Works and Letters

June 3, 2014

The Fruit of Their Labors: Exploring William Hamilton’s Greenhouse Complex and the Rise of American Botany in Early Federal Philadelphia

June 3, 2014

Public Science, Patronage, and Free Education: The Wagner Free Institute of Science in Philadelphia 1855-1900

May 1, 2014

Christopher Jones publishes book with Harvard University Press

April 2, 2014

Congratulations to Emily Handlin

March 4, 2014

Morbid Propensities: Suicide, Sympathy, and the Making of American Eugenics

February 27, 2014

“It is my wish to behold Ladies among my hearers”: Early American Women and Scientific Practice, 1720-1860

January 2, 2014

Cross-Atlantic Fertilizations: Women’s Horticultural Education at Ambler, Pennsylvania

October 10, 2013

Printing skulls: the transatlantic publication and reception of Crania Americana (1839)

October 1, 2013

Degeneration in Miniature: Cell Death and Aging Research in the Twentieth Century

October 1, 2013

The American Idiot Schools: Disability and Segregation in the Nineteenth Century