AvH-R: Long-term editorial research project on Humboldt’s travel manuscript to start in 2015 – job opening

“Alexander von Humboldt auf Reisen – Wissenschaft aus der Bewegung [Travelling Humboldt: Science on the Move]” (AvH-R)

Plate XLII "42_Vue du Cayambe" in: Humboldt, Alexander von ([1810-]1813): Vues des Cordillères et monumens des peuples indigènes de l'Amérique. Paris: Schoell.

Plate XLII “42_Vue du Cayambe” in: Humboldt, Alexander von ([1810-]1813): Vues des Cordillères et monumens des peuples indigènes de l’Amérique. Paris: Schoell.

On October 30, 2014, the Berlin-Brandenburgian Academy of Sciences and Humanities (BBAW) announced the launch of its new long-term editorial research project “Alexander von Humboldt auf Reisen – Wissenschaft aus der Bewegung [Travelling Humboldt: Science on the Move]” (AvH-R).

The editorial project forms part of a current national and international research community that has recently been given new incentives by the high-profile acquisition of Alexander von Humboldt’s Travel Diaries by the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation (SPK) through means of public-private sponsorship.

With AvH-R, BBAW builds on its long tradition of in-house Alexander von Humboldt scholarship under the direction of Eberhard Knobloch (co-submitter for AvH-R). The project’s director will be Ottmar Ette, Professor of Romance and Comparative Literature at the Universität Potsdam.

Current Job Opening for AvH-R

Job opening for the Head of Research Group at AvH-R (Arbeitsstellenleiter/in im Akademienvorhaben Alexander von Humboldt auf Reisen)

Full-time employment, E 14 (Berlin)

Deadline for applications: November 30, 2014 Continue reading

03/04/2014: Opening Ceremony celebrating the purchase of Humboldt’s American Travel Diaries, Berlin

Travel Diary VIIbb/c, 410r: Sketch of Plate 51 of Humboldt's "Vues des Cordillères", outline of the Mountain Corazón, the dashed line indicating orographic snow line. In his adjacent note, Humboldt describes the location of the mountain in the surroundings of Quito. © Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin - PK / Fotostelle

Travel Diary VIIbb/c, 410r: Sketch of Plate 51 of Humboldt’s “Vues des Cordillères”, outline of the Mountain Corazón, the dashed line indicating orographic snow line. In his adjacent note, Humboldt describes the location of the mountain in the surroundings of Quito. © Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – PK / Fotostelle

The Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation (Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz) will celebrate the purchase of Alexander von Humboldt’s American Travel Diaries in an Opening Ceremony on March 4, 2014. The Travel Diaries were acquired in 2013 as a central element of the rara collection of the Berlin State Library (Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin). They are considered to represent the so called “second”, that is, the scientific discovery of the Americas. Humboldt’s Travel Diaries consist of approximately 4000 pages, densely annotated and filled with sketches and drawings by Humboldt. The purchase of the Travel Diaries was made possible by the generous support of several public and private sponsors.

The ceremony’s speakers will be: Hermann Parzinger (Presindet of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation), Continue reading

3-year Research Project at Universität Potsdam to follow the purchase of Alexander von Humboldt’s American Travel Diaries

Last wednesday, the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation (Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz) announced in a press release the purchase of Alexander von Humboldt’s American Travel Diaries (for more information on the purchase and the German and international press reactions see avhumboldt.de).

Together with the purchase, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is funding a joint research programm by the Universität Potsdam and the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz. Starting in 2014, Prof. Dr. Ottmar Ette (Universität Potsdam) will lead a research group of at least five researchers (doc and postdoc level) to work on the material, cultural, and epistemological significance of Humboldt’s travel diaries, which can be considered the foundation of what Ottmar Ette has coined as Humboldtian Writing”.

Travel Diary VIIbb/c, 410r: Sketch of Plate 51 of Humboldt's "Vues des Cordillères", outline of the Mountain Corazón, the dashed line indicating orographic snow line. In his adjacent note, Humboldt describes the location of the mountain in the surroundings of Quito. © Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin - PK / Fotostelle

Travel Diary VIIbb/c, 410r: Sketch of Plate 51 of Humboldt’s “Vues des Cordillères”, outline of the Mountain Corazón, the dashed line indicating orographic snow line. In his adjacent note, Humboldt describes the location of the mountain in the surroundings of Quito. © Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – PK / Fotostelle

At the same time, the project includes the complete digitization of both the volumes of Humboldt’s diaries as well as the entire literary estate, currently available in the archives of the Staatsbibliothek. Taken together, both initiatives will provide a new ground for current and future research on the history of European science in the 19th century in general and Alexander von Humboldt Studies in particular.

The purchase of the travel diaries was funded by a consortium of both public and private institutions. The nine leather-bound books will be presented to the public in an official ceremony early 2014.

Book: Kutzinski, Vera M. / Ette, Ottmar / Walls, Laura Dassow (ed.): “Alexander von Humboldt and the Americas”, Verlag Walter Frey 2012.

Book details

Book: Kutzinski, Vera M. / Ette, Ottmar / Walls, Laura Dassow (ed.): "Alexander von Humboldt and the Americas", Verlag Walter Frey 2012.

Book: Kutzinski, Vera M. / Ette, Ottmar / Walls, Laura Dassow (ed.): “Alexander von Humboldt and the Americas”, Verlag Walter Frey 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 [295 p.]

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

Content

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. Continue reading