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"The Medialisation of Democratic Identity in Literary, Political and Legal culture, 1789-1832"

Prof. Dr. Christoph Houswitschka
(Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg)

The project investigates the diverse and complex forms of medialisations of identities in the period between 1776 and 1832, focussing on the perception of a clearly defined private and public identity: on the one hand, the democrat is criminalised; on the other hand, those who call themselves democrats endeavour a comprehensive definition of what “democrat” or “democracy” mean.

The concomitant construction of identities occurred in different media, both within and outside the institutions of culture, politics and law; besides, it led to the development of new genres within the media system. In addition to institutions with a constitutional status, numerous public organisations (corresponding societies) emerged, as well as institutions (e.g. for education) construing dissense and the democrat’s alternative identity.

The medialisation of democratic identity includes not only literary or journalistic publications in different print media, the most advanced form of spatial and social appropriation and participation, but also the body. The body thus becomes a medium of democratization based on participation and intellectual appropriation, which is expressed by the citizens’ posture, gestures, mimics, speech, clothes and movements.

In this context, controlling space through the body is as important as the functional relationship between geographical space and literary text, between the experience of travel and travel(s in) literature, between material and intellectual property, between political and artistic freedom etc. Both migration from the town into the country and observing the town from the country, the mobility of the individual, the peripatetic appropriation of landscape and the negotiation of its different social and cultural meanings are inscribed into the texts through their semantic instabilities and effect changes on the body and clothing.

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CV
Prof. Dr. Christoph Houswitschka (*1961)

Studied English, American and German Literature at the Universities of Regensburg and Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

PhD Thesis on "Love and Politics in Thomas Malorys Morte Darthur" (Frankfurt et al.: Lang, 1991); Habilitation with a thesis on the legal culture and the literature of the High Treason Trials in London 1794. Taught at the Universities Regensburg, Dresden, Northern Iowa and Freiburg.
Since 2002 Chair of English Literature at the University of Bamberg.

Publications on Arthurian literature; law, politics and literature in the eighteenth century; literature and science (Mary Shelley, H.G. Wells etc); contemporary drama; and literature in English dealing with National Socialism and the Shoah.

Editor of Freedom - Treason - Revolution. Uncollected Sources of the Political and Legal Culture of the London Treason Trials (1794) (Frankfurt Lang, 2004).  Co-Editor  of Literatur, Kriminalität und Rechtskultur im 17. und 18. Jahrhundert (Essen: Blaue Eule, 1996); Einführung in das Studium der Anglistik und Amerikanistik (Munich: Beck, 2000); Staging Displacement, Exile and Diaspora (Trier: WVT, 2005); and Literary Views on Post-Wall Europe. (Trier: WVT, 2005).

Bibiography

28 Entries found.

Books
    Houswitschka, Christoph (Ed.). "Freedom - Treason - Revolution: Uncollected Sources of the Political and Legal Culture of the London Treason Trials (1794)": Britannia. Texts in English: Literature, Culture, History from early modern times to the present. Hg. V. Jürgen Klein. Frankfurt(M., Berlin, New York: Peter Lang, 2004
    Roe, Nicholas. The Politics of Nature: William Wordsworth and Some Contemporaries. 2nd ed. Houndsmills: Palgrave, 2002
    Barrell, John. Imagining the King's Death: Figurative Treason, Fantasies of Regicide, 1793-1796. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2000
    Lorenz, Maren. Leibhaftige Vergangenheit: Einführung in die Körpergeschichte. Tübingen: edition diskord, 2000
    Albes, Claudia. Der Spaziergang als Erzählmodell: Studien zu Jean-Jaques Rousseau, Adalbert Stifter, Robert Walser und Thomas Bernhard. Tübingen: Francke, 1999
    Keen, Paul. The Crisis of Literature in the 1790s: Print Culture and the Public Sphere. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1999
    McCann, Andrew (Ed.). Cultural Politics in the 1790s: Literature, Radicalism, and the Public Sphere. London: Macmillan, 1999
    Matless, David. Landscape and Englishness. London: Reaktion Books, 1998
    Kamm, Jürgen (Ed.). The City and the Country: Proceedings from the Sixth British and Cultural Studies Conference, Dresden 1995. Essen: Die Blaue Eule, 1997
    Böker, Uwe, und Christoph Houswitschka (Ed.). Literatur, Kriminalität und Rechtskultur im 17und 18Jahrhundert: Tagung am 17. und 18.Juni 1994 an der Technischen Universität Dresden. Essen: Die Blaue Eule, 1996
    Fulford, Tim. "Landscape, Liberty and Authority: Poetry, Criticism and Politics from Thomson to Wordsworth". Cambridge Studies in Eighteenth-Century Literature and Thought. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1996. 30
    Langan, Celeste. Romantic Vagrancys: Wordsworth and the Simulation of Freedom. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1995
    Wallace, Anne D. Walking, Literature, and English Culture: The Origins and Uses of Peripatetic in the Nineteenth Century. Oxford: Clarendon, 1994
    Andrews, Malcolm. The Search for the Picturesque: Landscape Aesthetics and Tourism in Britain, 1760-1800. Aldershot, Scolar: [SMA], 1989
    Robinson, Jeffrey C. The Walk: Notes as a Romantic Image. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 1989
    Williams, Raymond. The Country and the City. London: Chatto and Windus, 1973
    Houswitschka, Christoph. Aufklärung als urbane Lebensform der englischen Reformer in den 1790er Jahren: Konferenzbeiträge zu Aufklärung und Urbanisierung Städtische Zentren in der Kulturbewegung des 18. Jahrhunderts. Kamenzer Kolloquien zur Aufklärungsfoschung 3 vom 23.-26. November 2000
    Houswitschka, Christoph. Die Rechtskultur der High Treason Trials von 1794 und die Literatur der Demokratisierung
Journal Articles
    Bode, Christoph. "Putting the Lake District on the (Mental) Map: Wordsworth's Guide to the Lakes". Journal for the Studies of British Cultures, 1997. 4 (1-2). 95-112.
    Kohl, Stephan. "Imagining the Countryside as 'The Country' in the 1830s William Cobbett, William Howitt, William Turner. Journal for the Studies of British Cultures, 1997. 4 (1-2). 113-27.
    Hellmuth, Eckhart. "Kommunikation und Radikalismus, Loyalismus und ideologischer Pluralismus: Popular Politics' in England in der zweiten Hälfte des 18. Jahrhunderts". Entwicklungsschwellen im 18.Jahrhundert. Aufklärung. Ed(s). Ed. Karl Eibl, 1989. 14.1. 79-104.
Book Articles
    Fludernik, Monika, und Greta Olson (Ed.). "Circulating Ideas of Democracy: The Legal Culture of the High Treason Trials of 1794": In the Grip of Law. Frankfurt/M.: Peter Lang, 2004. 105-24.
    Huber, Werner, und Marie-Luise Egbert. "Alternative Locations of the Reform Movement: John Thelwall's 'Romantic' Genres and National Myths of Freedom's first prototype": Alternative Romanticisms. Proceedings of the Grimma Conference 2001. Essen: Die Blaue Eule, 2003. 67-76.
    Müller, Stephan, Gary S.Schaal, und Claudia Tiersch (Ed.). "The Worst Revolutions Are Those That Are Never Called So: Deutungsperspektiven einer Kultur des Wandels": Dauer durch Wandel. Institutionelle Ordnungen zwischen Verstetigung und Transformation. Im Namen der Mitarbeiter des Sonderforschungsbereichs. Köln, Weimar, Wien, 2002. 537: Institutionalität und Geschichtlichkeit. 61-72.
    Böker, Uwe, und Julie Hibbard (Ed.). "Family, Crime, and the Public Sphere: Incest' in Eighteenth-Century England": Sites of Discourse - Public and Private Spheres - Legal Culture. Papers from a Conference Held at the Technical University of Dresden, December 2001. Amsterdam und New York: Rodopi, 2002. 167-78.
    Kamm, Jürgen (Ed.). "Where Culture spreads luxuriant: John Thelwall's Poetical Relocation of Burkean Values". The City and the Country. Proceedings from the Sixth British and Cultural Studies Conference Dresden 1995. Essen: Die Blaue Eule, 1997. 31-50.
    Drexler, Peter. "Rechtsbegleitende Literatur im England des 18. Und 19. Jahrhunderts: Definitionen, Paradigmen, historischer Wandel". Böker/Houswitschka, 1996. 54-63.
    Houswitschka, Christoph, und Uwe Böker (Ed.). "Der Hochverratsprozess gegen John Horne Tooke (1794): Der Sprachforscher als Verteidiger seiner Bürgerrechte". Literatur, Kriminalität und Rechtskultur im 17.und 18. Jahrhundert. Tagung am 17. Und 18.Juni 1994 an der Technischen Universität Dresden. Essen: Die Blaue Eule, 1996. 262-81.

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The database was created by the participants of the Network 'Mediating Identities in 18th Century England' and will be updated on a regular basis.
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