Jeffrey Schauer

Anthropology and History

Jeffrey Schauer’s project began as a research effort aimed at narrowing his academic interests, but evolved into much more. Thanks to the enthusiastic support of Professor Mitchell, Jeffrey was able to experience a focused project, requiring primary and secondary research, that combined the solitude of sifting through archives thousands of miles from UCI, and travelling the length and breadth of Britain, with collaborative discussions in a classroom with a UCI professor and students a year later. He particularly enjoyed the almost endless fascination of sifting through nearly illegible letters in the library of the Natural History Museum in London. Jeffrey is pursuing a graduate degree in history at UC Berkeley. triangle.gif (504 bytes)




The death and subsequent commemoration of Frederick Courteney Selous, an explorer, hunter, and preservationist in the British Empire, weave together several strands of history that shed light on the character of the preservation movement in the early twentieth century. Exemplarity, conduct, and the Great War together created two moments that highlight the roles of race, class and gender in shaping notions of masculinity, which in turn becomes a tool for understanding the inherent contradictions in an early wildlife preservation society. Both Selous’ person and memory become politicized spaces, used to reconcile a movement to the values of a time and a class. By examining images of the dedication of his memorial and investigating accounts of Selous’ death and exchanges of letters between some of the key players in this drama, I was able to generate a new interpretation of a war-time death in East Africa and the hagiographic ceremony in London that followed. This interpretation suggests that early proponents of wildlife preservation were acutely conscious of the contradictions that their movement embodied, and sought to wield one exemplary life to fashion a narrative that linked preservation to other admirable attributes of imperialism. The effect of the choreographed ceremony was to reaffirm the difficulties faced in reconciling preservation with the commemoration of men like Selous. triangle.gif (504 bytes)

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Faculty Mentor                                                                                                                

Laura J. Mitchell

School of Humanities

As a double major in history and anthropology, Jeff Schauer employed a wide range of analytical tools to assess the multiple cultural perspectives embedded in questions of wildlife conservation in the British Empire. Jeff’s research is genuinely on the cutting edge. This paper simultaneously engages with three key points of current historical scholarship: the florescence of environmental history within mainstream debates; emerging investigations of the cultural, political, and economic contexts of environmental conservation; and the re-framing of national and imperial histories as mutually constitutive. Jeff productively used primary research conducted during his junior year in London, demonstrating long-range planning and real commitment to his topic. This paper lays the foundation for an exciting doctoral research program in Africa and Britain. triangle.gif (504 bytes)

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