Collections > Electronic Theses and Dissertations > Taming travel and disciplining reason: enlightenment and pedagogy in the work of Joachim Heinrich Campe
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In an examination of three incredibly popular works by Joachim Heinrich Campe (1746-1818), the eighteenth century’s most prolific and successful children’s author, this dissertation explores the relationship between the explosion in published travel accounts and the birth of children’s literature in Germany during the final three decades of the eighteenth century. Robinson der Jüngere (1779-80), Die Entdeckung von Amerika (1781-82) and the Sammlung interessanter und zweckmäßig abgefasster Reisebeschreibungen für die Jugend (1785-93) were conceived by Campe as a series that would use travel-adventure texts to improve the reader’s knowledge and understanding of the world. This dissertation explores the dialectic interplay between the two spheres of these narratives. In exploring the fine connections these works display between the domestic and the foreign, or more broadly put, the familiar and the exotic, this dissertation argues that an understanding of Enlightenment culture requires coming to terms with the dynamic nature of these relationships. In examining how this series of texts draws on, utilizes, and constructs this wealth of material for a pedagogy that places the creation of citizens as its primary goal, I demonstrate the fundamental importance of exotic imagery for identity formation in the late 18th century. In probing the nexus of pedagogy, Enlightenment ideology, and travel narratives in Campe’s work, this dissertation makes a contribution to scholarship on each of these areas and contends that all three are, in their essence, deeply intertwined.