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

November 8, 2016

Road to Eradication: Global Polio Vaccine Testing in the Cold War

October 5, 2016

Digital Afterlives: Patterning Posterity Through Networked Remains

August 24, 2016

Divining a Usable Past: Psychical Research and the High-Culture Novel, 1880-1940

August 11, 2016

Planter’s Paradise: Nature and Culture on Hawaiʻi’s Sugarcane Plantations

July 26, 2016

From Bauhaus to Maxwell House: Continental Design and Social Science as Technologies of Consumer Engineering in Twentieth-Century America

July 13, 2016

Apothecary, Surgeon, Doctress, Slave: African and European Medicine in the British Slave Trade

June 21, 2016

Orbital Decay: Space Junk and the Environmental History of Earth’s Borderlands, 1957-1985

May 9, 2016

Douglas O’Reagan takes up Postdoc at MIT

May 6, 2016

Ruth Rand publishes RAND Corporation document, accepts Mellon Postdoc at University of Wisconsin-Madison

May 1, 2016

Dora Vargha awarded AAHM’s J. Worth Estes Prize

April 25, 2016

Lijing Jiang’s papers published in Historical Studies and BioSocieties

April 21, 2016

Susan Hanket Brandt wins OAH’s Lerner-Scott Prize

April 20, 2016

Chris Heaney appointed Assistant Professor at Penn State and Fellow at McNeil Center for Early American Studies

April 20, 2016

Heidi Hausse receives fellowship at Huntington, joins Columbia Society of Fellows

April 19, 2016

Benjamin Breen wins dissertation award, accepts Assistant Professorship at UC Santa Cruz

April 19, 2016

Katherine Arner curates exhibition on World War I

April 19, 2016

Abe Gibson’s book in press with Cambridge

April 19, 2016

A Lab at the Top of the World: Circumpolar Health and Indigenous Politics in Cold War Alaska

March 22, 2016

“The fraternity throughout the world”: American and German Photography, Interactions from 1840 to 1890

January 20, 2016

Between Cope and Osborn: the Role of the American Biological Discourse on the Public Debate on Evolution

December 22, 2015

Coastal Identities: Science, Technology, Commerce and the State in American Seaports, 1790-1850

November 25, 2015

Congratulations to James Risk

November 25, 2015

Emily Klancher Merchant takes postdoc at Dartmouth College

November 25, 2015

Beyond Illustrations: Doing Anatomy with Images and Objects

November 25, 2015

Christopher Jones wins Edelstein Prize

November 2, 2015

Donald L. Opitz wins NSF award and lead edits volume on domesticity in modern science

October 21, 2015

The Peculiar Institution: Race, Gender, and Religion in the Making of Modern Psychiatry

October 16, 2015

Home Alteration in Industrial Philadelphia, 1865 to 1925

October 16, 2015

In Search of the Social Impulse: Science and Conciliation during the Interwar Years, 1919-1939

October 14, 2015

Science in the Jungle: The Missionary Mapping and National Imagining of Western Amazonia

October 7, 2015

Life and Limb: Technology, Surgery, and Bodily Loss in Early Modern Germany

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