Book: “TransArea: A Literary History of Globalization”, De Gruyter 2016

Book Details


Ottmar Ette: TransArea. A Literary History of Globalization, De Gruyter 2016.

Ottmar Ette: TransArea: A Literary History of Globalization. Translated by Mark W. Person, Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter Mouton, 364 p.

ISBN-10: 3110477734 ISBN-13: 978-3110477733

€ [D] 39.95 / US$ 56.00


The future of area studies lies in opening out into TransArea studies, which tie together area-connected competencies with transdisciplinary research practices. It is one of the loftiest and most urgent duties of philology to lift up this treasure in the awareness of the special relevance of literature, and to make it democratically available to the broadest possible sections of the population.

Ottmar Ette’s TransArea proceeds from the thesis that globalization is not a recent phenomenon, but rather, a process of long duration that may be divided into four main phases of accelerated globalization. These phases connect our present, across the world’s widely divergent modern eras, to the period of early modern history. Ette demonstrates how the literatures of the world make possible a tangible perception of that which constitutes Life, both of our planet and on our planet, which may only be understood through the application of multiple logics. There is no substitute for the knowledge of literature: it is the knowledge of life, from life. This English translation will be of great interest to English-speaking scholars in the fields of Global and Area Studies, Literary Studies, Cultural Studies, History, Political Science, and many more.

For the Table of Contents click here.


Recent PhD thesis: “Transatlantisches KörperDenken. Reisende Autorinnen des 19. Jahrhunderts in der hispanophonen Karibik [Transatlantic BodyThinking. Travelling female writers of the 19th century in the Spanish-speaking Caribbean]” (2015)

Transatlantisches KörperDenken. Reisende Autorinnen des 19. Jahrhunderts in der hispanophonen Karibik

Book details 

Abel, Johanna: Transatlantisches KörperDenken. Reisende Autorinnen des 19. Jahrhunderts in der hispanophonen Karibik. Berlin: edition tranvía – Verlag Walter Frey (POINTE – Potsdamer inter- und transkulturelle Texte, Vol. 12) 2015  [334 p.]

Softcover | List price Euro [D] 28
ISBN 978-3-938944-89-9
Content (in German)

Abel, Johanna: Transatlantisches KörperDenken.  Reisende Autorinnen des 19. Jahrhunderts in der hispanophonen Karibik. Verlag Walter Frey 2015.

Abel, Johanna: Transatlantisches KörperDenken.
Reisende Autorinnen des 19. Jahrhunderts in der hispanophonen Karibik. Verlag Walter Frey 2015.

In Reiseliteraturen zur Karibik ist ein dynamisches Körperwissen gespeichert. Reisende Autorinnen des 19. Jahrhunderts denken in ihren Texten über Körperlichkeit nach. Dabei entstehen narrative Echos von ‚denkenden Körpern‘. Aus diesen literarischen Spuren erschließt Transatlantisches KörperDenken erstmals die Verflechtungsebenen einer transkulturellen Körpergeschichte zwischen Europa und der karibischen Inselwelt. Der Band ermöglicht neue Einsichten in Reisezeugnisse von bisher weitgehend unbeachteten Verfasserinnen. Die Relationen zwischen Text und Körper, Ethnographie und Literatur sowie Hegemonialität und Kulturkritik auslotend, leistet er einen relevanten Beitrag zu aktuellen literatur- und kulturwissenschaftlichen Debatten.

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04/30/2014, symposium & live webcast: “Alexander von Humboldt and the Order of Nature”, New York

Symposium on Aspects of Culture and Landscape in the Americas

Americas Society, Council of the Americas

April 30, 2014, 11:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Eduard Ender (Austrian, 1822-1883). Alexander von Humboldt and Bonpland in the Jungle Hut, ca. 1850. Archive of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities.

Eduard Ender (Austrian, 1822-1883). Alexander von Humboldt and Bonpland in the Jungle Hut, ca. 1850. Archive of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities.

Welcome Remarks

  • Harper Montgomery, Distinguished Lecturer and Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Professor in Latin American Art, Hunter College: morning
  • Gabriela Rangel, Director of Visual Arts and Chief Curator, Americas Society: afternoon

11:00am to 1:00pm – PANEL 1: Humboldt and Social Order in the Americas

  • Introduction: Wenzel Bilger, Regional Program Director, Goethe-Institute, New York.
  • Respondent: Mary Louise Pratt, Silver Professor and Professor of Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Literatures at New York University.


  • Ottmar Ette, Chair of Romance Literature, University of Potsdam
    Alexander von Humboldt as a World Citizen. Nomadic Knowledge and the Global Landscapes of Theory
  • Michael Zeuske, Professor of Caribbean and Latin American History, Universität zu Köln
    Humboldt and Slavery
  • Laura Dassow Walls, William P. and Hazel B. White Professor of English, University of Notre Dame
    The Manifold Nature of Humboldt’s Pocket Cosmos
  • Mark Dion, Contemporary Artist
    An Artist Responds to the Collecting Tradition of Naturalists in the Neotropics

1:00 pm to 2:30pm – BREAK

2:30pm to 5:30pm – PANEL 2: Humboldt’s Influence on the Art of the Americas

  • Video: The Wake, by Dana Levy
  • Introduction: Georgia de Havenon, Exhibition Guest Curator
  • Respondent: Katherine Manthorne, Professor of Art of the Unites States, Latin America and Their Cross-Currents, 1750-1950, The Graduate Center, City University of New York. Continue reading

3-year Research Project on Humboldt’s American Travel Diaries announces Openings at the University of Potsdam, Germany

Announcement of Openings

Detail of Julius Schrader's portrait "Alexander von Humboldt", 1859 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Detail of Julius Schrader’s portrait “Alexander von Humboldt”, 1859 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

The Chair of French- and Spanish-speaking Literatures (Prof. Dr. Ottmar Ette) at the Institute for Romance Languages and Literatures of the Philosophical Faculty of the University of Potsdam announces 5 openings in the context of a new BMBF project entitled “Alexander von Humboldt’s American Travel diaries: Genealogy, Chronology, and Epistemology.”

The following three-year positions are available for February 1, 2014:

  • 1 Postdoctoral Research Assistantship (full-time, 40 hours/week) [155/2013]
  • 1 Postdoctoral Research Assistantship (half-time, 20 hours/week) [156/2013]
  • 3 Pre-doctoral Research Assistantships (full-time/40 hours/week) [157/2013]

Salaries for all positions are competitive (E 13 and E 14 in the German context).

In the context of this transdisciplinary project (under the direction of Prof. Dr. Ottmar Ette), the following research disciplinary foci are most desirable: literary studies, visual studies, history of science, geography. The expected outcome for each position is either a completed doctoral dissertation or a publishable monograph.


  • write a dissertation or monograph in the context of the above project.
  • help organize conferences/workshops about the topic of the BMBF project.
  • assist in preparing scholarly editions and/or collections.
  • collaborate with the project’s partners (Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz) Continue reading