German Culture in Nineteenth-Century America

German Culture in Nineteenth-Century America

Reception, Adaptation, Transformation

Edited by Lynne Tatlock, Matt Erlin


Camden House



Essays examining the circulation and adaptation of German culture in the United States during the long 19th century.
Building on recent trends in the humanities and especially on scholarship done under the rubric of cultural transfer, this volume emphasizes the processes by which Americans took up, responded to, and transformed German cultural material for their own purposes. The fourteen essays by scholars from the US and Germany treat such topics as translation, the reading of German literature in America, the adaptation of German ideas and educational ideals, the reception and transformation of European genres of writing, and the status of the "German" and the "European" in celebrations of American culture and criticisms of American racism. The volume contributes to the ongoing re-conception of American culture as significantly informed by non-English-speaking European cultures. It also participates in the efforts of historians and literary scholars to re-theorize the construction of national cultures. Questions regarding hybridity, cultural agency, and strategies of acculturation have long been at the center of postcolonial studies, but as this volume demonstrates, these phenomena are not merely operative in encounters between colonizers and colonized: they are also fundamental to the early American reception and appropriation of German cultural materials.

Contributors: Hinrich C. Seeba, Eric Ames, Claudia Liebrand, Paul Michael Lützeler, Kirsten Belgum, Robert C. Holub, Jeffrey Grossman, Jeffrey L. Sammons, Linda Rugg, Gerhild Scholz Williams, Gerhard Weiss, Lorie Vanchena.

Lynne Tatlock is Hortense and Tobias Lewin Distinguished Professor in the Humanities and Matt Erlin is Assistant Professor in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, both at Washington University in St. Louis.


October 2005
13 black and white illustrations
358 pages
9x6 in
Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture
ISBN: 9781571133083
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Camden House
BISAC HIS014000, HIS036040, HIS054000
Share on Facebook   Share on Twitter   Pin it   Share by Email

Table of Contents

Cultural History: An American Refuge for a German Idea - Hinrich C. Seeba
The Image of Culture - Or, What Münsterberg Saw in the Movies - Eric Ames
Tacitus Redivivus or Taking Stock: A. B. Faust's Assessment of the German Element in America - Claudia Liebrand
The St. Louis World's Fair of 1904 as a Site of Cultural Transfer: German and German-American Participation - Paul Michael Luetzeler
Absolute Speculation: The St. Louis Hegelians and the Question of American National Identity - Matt Erlin
Reading Alexander von Humboldt: Cosmopolitan Naturalist with an American Spirit - Kirsten Belgum
Nietzsche: Socialist, Anarchist, Feminist - Robert C. Holub
Domesticated Romance and Capitalist Enterprise: Annis Lee Wister's Americanization of German Fiction -
Pictures of Travel: Heine in America - Jeffrey A. Grossman
Retroactive Dissimilation: Louis Untermeyer, the "American Heine" - Jeffery L. Sammons
A Tramp Abroad and at Home: European and American Racism in Mark Twain - Linda Rugg
New Country, Old Secrets: Heinrich Börnstein's Die Geheimnisse von St. Louis (1851) - Gerhild Scholz Williams
The Americanization of Franz Lieber and the Encyclopedia Americana - Gerhard Weiss
From Domestic Farce to Abolitionist Satire: Reinhold Solger's Reframing of the Union (1860) - Lorie A. Vanchena


This volume is to be highly recommended for all those interested in Germany's contribution to America's cultural development in the nineteenth century. MONATSHEFTE

The essays collected in this well organized volume make a major contribution to our understanding of German Culture in Nineteenth-Century America. ARCHIV FÜR DAS STUDIUM DER NEUEREN SPRACHEN UND LITERATUREN

This anthology provides any number of interesting insights about cultural exchanges and cultural transfers prior to WWI. These exchanges integral part of an American intellectual and popular culture landscape.... In an informative and well informed introduction the editors outline major issues regarding the burgeoning field of cultural transfer studies. The subsequent four parts capture the various aspects in which cultural transfer may be studied most successfully. GERMAN QUARTERLY

In all the contributions original or little-known circumstances and constellations are presented that problematize the presence of German cultural products in the USA as well as the process of German-American identity formation. AMERIKASTUDIEN

Also by Author

Also in Series