Alexander von Humboldt and the Americas (Verlag Walter Frey – edition tranvía 2012)

Kutzinski, Vera M. / Ette, Ottmar / Walls, Laura Dassow (ed.): Alexander von Humboldt and the Americas. Berlin: Verlag Walter Frey - edition tranvía (POINTE - Potsdamer inter- und transkulturelle Texte, Vol. 3) 2012
Kutzinski, Vera M. / Ette, Ottmar / Walls, Laura Dassow (ed.): Alexander von Humboldt and the Americas. Berlin: Verlag Walter Frey - edition tranvía (POINTE - Potsdamer inter- und transkulturelle Texte, Vol. 3) 2012

Kutzinski, Vera M. / Ette, Ottmar / Walls, Laura Dassow (Hg.): Alexander von Humboldt and the Americas.

Berlin: Verlag Walter Frey – edition tranvía (POINTE – Potsdamer inter- und transkulturelle Texte, Bd. 3) 2012 [295 p.]

Hardcover | List price Euro [D] 19.80
ISBN: 978-3-938944-63-9

About the Book

If Alexander von Humboldt’s writings opened up exciting cultural spaces in his time, they can certainly do so again in our own day. As the twenty-first century addresses the problems of intercultural violence, environmental devastation, social justice, and global climate change, the tools and perspectives Humboldt developed and popularized may offer useful resources to meet challenges that he himself already foresaw.

In Humboldt’s spirit, the aim of this collection of essays and translations is to foreground the importance of multiple vantage points. Part I encompasses a collection of eight essays, each from a different disciplinary location (be it cultural history, literary studies, or anthropology) and in relation to diverse geographies in the Americas (Canada, Cuba, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, and the USA). Part II is a collection of eight excerpts from Humboldt’s diary entries and letters originally written in French and German during his travels through the Americas (1799-1804). They appear here in English for the first time.

Table of Content

Introduction: Alexander von Humboldt’s Americas: Starting with Particulars (Vera M. Kutzinski, Ottmar Ette, and Laura Dassow Walls)

I. HISTORIAN OF THE AMERICAS: ESSAYS ON ALEXANDER VON HUMBOLDT

  1. Humboldt’s Passage to America (Laura Dassow Walls)
  2. Climates of the Enlightenment: Humboldt, the Torrid Zone, and the Eighteenth Century (Neil Safier)
  3. Recalibrating Empire: Humboldtian Climatology in the Reports of the Palliser and Hind Expeditions to British North America’s Great North West, 1857-60 (Suzanne Zeller)
  4. From País to Nation: Alexander von Humboldt and the Formation of Ecuadorian Identity (Christiana Borchart de Moreno and Segundo E. Moreno Yánez)
  5. From Total Impression to Fractal Representation: the Humboldtian Naturbild (Tobias Kraft)
  6. Humboldt’s Political Essay on the Island of Cuba and the Natural History of Caribbean Slavery (Christopher Iannini)
  7. Describing the Nation: Local and Universal in Humboldt’s Administrative Practice and in Late Eighteenth-Century Cameralism (Michael Dettelbach)
  8. TransTropics: Alexander von Humboldt and Hemispheric Constructions (Ottmar Ette)

II. OF THINGS NATURAL AND UNNATURAL: EXCERPTS FROM ALEXANDER VON HUMBOLDT’S LETTERS AND DIARIES

Translated from the German and French by Vera M. Kutzinski

  1. Alexander von Humboldt to Wilhelm von Humboldt, July 16, 1799
  2. Alexander von Humboldt, “Slaves,” Fall 1800
  3. Alexander von Humboldt, “Slaves,” Fall 1800
  4. Alexander von Humboldt to Wilhelm von Humboldt, October 17, 1800
  5. Alexander von Humboldt to Karl Ludwig Willdenow, February 21, 1801
  6. Alexander von Humboldt to Wilhelm von Humboldt, September 21, 1801
  7. Alexander von Humboldt to Wilhelm von Humboldt, November 25, 1802
  8. Alexander von Humboldt, “Slavery,” March 4, 1803

List of Illustrations

Notes on the Contributors

Acknowledgments

More information

Verlag Walter Frey – edition tranvía

Tobias Kraft

Tobias Kraft ++ Redaktionsleitung avhumboldt.de (früher Humboldt im Netz) seit 2001 sowie Mitglied im Editorial Board des Open Access Journals HiN - Internationale Zeitschrift für Humboldt-Studien seit 2002 ++ Studium der Romanistik, Germanistik, Medienwissenschaft und Geschichte an der Universität Bonn und an der Universität Potsdam ++ 2008-2013 Promotion zu Alexander von Humboldt am Lehrstuhl für französisch- und spanischsprachige Literatur (Prof. Dr. Ottmar Ette), Institut für Romanistik, Universität Potsdam ++ seit Januar 2015 Arbeitsstellenleiter im Langzeitvorhaben "Alexander von Humboldt auf Reisen – Wissenschaft aus der Bewegung" (AvH-R) an der Berlin-Brandenburgischen Akademie der Wissenschaften

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