Thesis ID: CBB707624766

After Geo-Graphy: Oceanic Turns in German Thought and Culture Around 1800 (2023)


This dissertation explores radical sea imagery in philosophy, natural science, literature, and opera at the turn of the 19th century. Close analyses of the works of Immanuel Kant, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué, and E.T.A. Hoffmann trace a cultural turn to the sea in Germany during the period between the Enlightenment and Romanticism, focusing on how this process gives rise to more fluid practices of writing, knowing and creating. In particular, I attend to an upsurge of oceanic symbolism that challenges what recent scholars in critical ocean studies have called the “terrestrial bias” of central concepts in Western thought and culture. This dissertation thus emphasizes the sea’s power to disrupt terrestrially biased categories like fixity, linearity, and enclosure that have been traditionally privileged in Western epistemologies.

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Authors & Contributors
Brayton, Daniel
Gigante, Denise
Heringman, Noah
Holland, Jocelyn
Kassenbrock, Brian W.
Kelley, Theresa M.
Centaurus: International Magazine of the History of Mathematics, Science, and Technology
Journal of the History of Ideas
University of South Carolina
University of California, Berkeley
New York University
Duke University Press
Johns Hopkins University Press
Science and literature
Poetry and poetics
Science and culture
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von
Blake, William
Darwin, Erasmus
Humboldt, Alexander von
Kant, Immanuel
Time Periods
18th century
19th century
16th century
Great Britain
London (England)
New Granada (Spanish colony)

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