The live human exhibitions in the territory of Latvia at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries between science, entertainment and homophobia

Project No.:; ESS2020/350
Period: 1 May 2020 – 30 April 2023
Project costs: 133,805.88 EUR
Principal investigator: Dr.hist. Ilze Boldāne–Zeļenkova

Exploring the practice of staging exotic otherness in the Baltic Provinces of the Russian Empire, the project will assess the role of live exhibitions in shaping the knowledge, entertainment habits and perception of otherness in the local community, simultaneously enhancing the scientific capacity and project management competence of the post-doctoral researcher. 

Historical sources (documents, press, posters, minutes of meetings of local scientific societies and publications) will be investigated, seeking answer questions on the following issues:

  1. dates and venues of exotic shows in the Baltic Provinces;
  2. interest in racial and evolutionary theory from local scientific societies and the press;
  3. the practice of forming the image of otherness in the local press;
  4. correlation between the presence of living exhibitions in the local cultural milieu and the intensity of discussion on race and evolution topics in local scientific societies and the media.

Mobility measures to Eastern and Central European countries and the USA, permitting the exchange of experience and acquisition of new knowledge, will make a significant contribution to reaching the project’s goals.

Project quarterly reports.