transposition 135
transposition 135 ©2023 Sascha Mikloweit & VG Bild-Kunst, Video: Uni Bonn
transposition 135 (Prof. Dr. Dr. Helmut Maier: Circulations: Colonial Geology, the Prussian Geological State Institution, and the South West African Copper (1850-1919))
Dr. Dr. Prof. Helmut Maier
University of Bonn, Institute of Geosciences, Department of Geochemistry/Petrology, Lecture Hall, Poppelsdorfer Schloss, Bonn, Germany
Lecture Intervention
19/04/2023 | 1630h
Copper ore was already mined in Southwest Africa in pre-colonial times until the first commercial colonial copper ore mining operations by South Africans began in the mid-19th century. Beginning in the mid-1880s, a growing number of international geologists where hired to go on expeditions to Southwest Africa. Their field research formed the origin of the colonial geology. The Preußische Geologische Landesanstalt (PGLA) in Berlin, founded in 1873, developed into the hub for the German colonial geological research.

In modern colonial historiography, science and technology are seen as stirrup holders of colonial expansion and exploitation. Colonial knowledge production and economic penetration exerted a significant influence on the sciences in general and geology in particular. With a focus on Africa — extensively mined ever since the beginning of european colonial invasions — this talk proposes an in depth study of geology as a central discipline of colonial knowledge systems.

Prof. Dr. Dr. Helmut Maier, Interdisciplinary Centre for Science and Technology Studies, University of Wuppertal

Prof. Dr. Helmut Maier is a historian of science, technology and environmental history at the University of Wuppertal. He conducts research on the history of mining and energy, historical materials research, and the history of scientific societies and technical universities. In his research group on the history of governmental research in the 20th century, the Prussian Geological Survey and geological research form a thematic focus with two staff members. He is co-editor of the anthology "Mining and Environment in GDR and FRG" (in German, 2022), which examines the "Practices of Environmental Policy and Recultivation".