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"The Panorama"

Prof. Dr. Michael Meyer
(Universität Koblenz-Landau, Campus Koblenz)

The transformation of verbal and visual representations of the panorama in the long eighteenth century has important aesthetic and ideological implications. The development of the panorama implies changing positions both of observers and the objects of observation. The perfection of the visual panorama in a rotunda in the late 18th Century gives rise to debates concerning its epistemological and aesthetic quality, which was opposed to Romantic visionary panoramas.

The panoramic promise of omniscience is undermined by gaps of and in the field of vision, the absence of synaesthetic perception and of temporal changes. In psychological and political terms, individual and collective observers are confronted with new perspectives of themselves and the other.

Panoramic depictions may defamiliarize the perception of landscapes or offer them to the spectators’ appropriation. Panoramic representations of Great Britain afford the construction of new regional and national identities, which are complemented by international scenes designed for a British audience.


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Prof. Dr. Michael Meyer (*1958)

Studied German, English and American literatures at the Universities of Mannheim, Iowa, and Freiburg. He taught Anglophone literatures at the Universities of Bamberg (1989-1999, 2001), Bayreuth (1999-2000), and Koblenz-Landau (2002- ).

He is the author of Struktur, Funktion und Vermittlung der Wahrnehmung in Charles Tomlinsons Lyrik (Frankfurt 1990), Gibbon, Mill und Ruskin. Autobiographie und Intertextualität (Heidelberg 1998) and an introduction to studying English and American Literatures (Tübingen/Basel 2004, 2005). He edited a book on the teaching of literature, Vom Hörsaal zum Tatort. Neue Spuren vom Hochschulunterricht? (From the lecture room to the work shop, Freiburg 1994), Salman Rushdie's short stories East, West (Stuttgart 2002), and co-edited Vertrauen und Glaubwürdigkeit (Trust and credibility, Wiesbaden 2005).

His articles deal with Augustan, Romantic, Victorian, colonial and postcolonial literatures and cultures. His current research projects cover the panorama, contemporary short stories and the culture of credit, trust and credibility


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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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