Brooke Penaloza Patzak, MA BFA


Current Position:
Adjunct Faculty, Webster Vienna Private University



Courses taught @ WVPU

  • Topics in History: The Production of Scientific Fact and Object

Education and Background

Brooke Penaloza Patzak is currently completing her PhD in modern history, with a focus on the history of science, at the University of Vienna. She has an MA in Decorative Arts, Design History, Material Culture from the Bard Graduate Center, and a BFA from the NYS College of Ceramics at Alfred University. Penaloza Patzak's most recent awards and fellowships include a DOC Fellowship from the Austrian Academy of Sciences (2014-2018), as well as a 2013 fellowship from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History's Summer Institute in Museum Anthropology. In 2017, she served as a Visiting Predoctoral Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, and was invited as a Visiting Scholar at the Berlin Ethnologisches Museum in 2014.

Her large-scale doctoral project was carried out as a cooperation between numerous museums and archives in Europe and the US, and draws together archival and object collections to analyze the impact of exchanges with German-speaking scientists and of ethnographic working materials on the development of US anthropology. In 2011 Penaloza Patzak co-curated “Objects of Exchange: Social and Material Transformation on the Late-Nineteenth-Century Northwest Coast,” held at the BGC Focus Gallery in NYC, and in cooperation with with the American Museum of Natural History. Her interests include the history of science and transnational studies, all aspects of material culture and especially collections studies, the social history of the social and natural sciences, and museology and its relationship to the production of scientific knowledge; her work in the history of anthropology and museum anthropology has appeared in both edited volumes and peer reviewed journals.