Search Results


Alessandro Ottaviani

The Swiss anthropologist George Alexis Montandon, professor of ethnology at the École d’ Anthropologie in 1932 and, from 1938, a public representative of the French Antisemitism, is the focus of this paper. Montandon established a peculiar connection between the method and topics of the Kulturkreislehre and the theory of the evolutionary change (Ologenesi) elaborated by the Italian zoologist Daniele Rosa. This connection is crucial for the understanding of the scientific background of Montandon’s career as a professional racist.

The Coral of Death

Kunst- und Wunderkammern between Temporality and Allegory

Alessandro Ottaviani

The aim of this essay is to show the existence of a substantial discontinuity between the Kunst- und Wunderkammern phenomenon and the practice of both eclectic and specialised collecting in the 18th century. A more detailed examination of the cases of fossils and corals, particularly the way they wove in and out of the differing rationales of collecting in the 17th and 18th centuries, brings to light how elusive their relationship was with the history of the notion of temporality. Subsequently, Lamarck and Darwin were to provide a conclusion to the temporality debate when they completed the historisation of nature.