The nomadic thinking in Alexander von Humboldt's American travel journals makes them relevant in the context of global theories. As a theoretician of globalization between words, scientific fields, and worlds, Humboldt explores the dimensions and movements of knowledge through a translingual écriture that connects epistemological modes between ethics and aesthetics. His multirelational research agenda is inspired by movement that aims at creating “polytopia,” a scholarly field reflected from various stand-points. Humboldt's writing habits on the move as well as at home have created a materiality of writing inscribed in his travel journals. By interpreting nineteenth-century portraits of him, I show the link between the researcher and his journals, which also underlines his craft of turning handwriting into an iconic theme. Humboldt's works and journals imply a landscape of theory based on ongoing movement, discovery, and exploration.
Ottmar Ette; The Life of a Nomad and a World Citizen: Alexander von Humboldt, Nomadic Knowledge, and the Global Landscapes of Theory. New German Critique 1 August 2016; 43 (2 (128)): 33–53. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/0094033X-3511859
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