Science Education and Bureaucratization of Fieldwork

Creating a Geological Collection in Nineteenth-Century Serbia


  • Dejan Lukic Brac University



Science education, nineteenth-century Serbia, state-building, collecting, fieldwork, earth sciences


The establishment of a network of collaborators in nineteenth-century Serbia, dedicated to scientific rock specimen collecting, required ongoing negotiation with the state administration over allocation of resources, including the mobilization of state clerks. In this period, Serbia’s state-building involved, among other things, considerable investments in science education and mining. By appealing to the state’s educational goals, Jovan Žujović managed to organize collecting through the network of schools, whose professors occasionally sent specimens to him. Various other state clerks, officers, and diplomats participated in this network as well, making field collecting practices situated by state administrative networks and contemporary nationalist ideologies. Through the collaborative and competitive intellectual efforts of scientific and non-scientific actors, fieldwork was co-produced as a politically contested space through the interplay of scientific, administrative, political, educational, and diplomatic initiatives that competed and collaborated within state-building projects.

Author Biography

  • Dejan Lukic, Brac University

    Dejan Lukić has a PhD in comparative history from Central European University. He was an Assistant Professor at the Brac University and a Global History Fellow at the Asian University for Women. He is currently working on the history of the earth sciences, and entangled histories of knowledge production.






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