“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.
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).
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.
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 →
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”.
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.
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
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 →