Andreas Daum, Professor, Department of History, University at Buffalo, SUNY, will discuss Alexander von Humboldt's influence and legacy in the United States in a lecture entitled “Mourning, Celebrating, Revisiting: Alexander von Humboldt in the United States, 1859-2009" at 3:00 PM on Wednesday, May 6, in LJ-119, Thomas Jefferson Building, Library of Congress, 10 First Street SE, Washington, D.C.
This event, sponsored by the Library of Congress’ European Division and the John W. Kluge Center, the German Historical Institute, and the German Embassy, is free and open to the public. No tickets or reservations are required.
Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) was a German naturalist and explorer who, through his persona and work, became an important reference point for American scholars, artists, and even governmental officials. As the United States was expanding westward, Humboldt's thinking about nature provided answers and a conceptual framework for questions arising from the exploration of North America's seemingly unlimited space.
However, only the dynamics of the Unites States' multi-cultural, immigrant society, rapidly growing in the second half of the nineteenth century, turned Humboldt into a true cultural hero beyond his scholarly achievements. Through commemorative events and public sculptures, Humboldt acquired the status of an icon for various social groups. Although this status eroded after 1900, Humboldt continued--and continues--to fascinate Americans.
This event is one in a week-long series of events entitled "Alexander von Humboldt--Remapping Global Perspectives," which will take place in Washington, D.C., from May 2 to May 7, 2009, in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of Alexander von Humboldt’s death. For more information about this series see www.Germany.info/Humboldt.
David B. Morris
German Area Specialist
Library of Congress
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