Imagining Stewardship: Roots Of A Poetic Eco-Politics

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Ryan Hellenbrand (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Michael Behrent

Abstract: Green politics in Germany emerged from environmental movements in the 1970’s. This activism has roots in a developing environmental consciousness in the early 19th Century. I examine how environmental activism and the stewardship that it demands are tied to regional identity and embedded within cultural consciousness. I begin by investigating the German word for economy, Wirtschaft. A genealogical etymology reveals a plurality of meanings and lived interpretations expressed through the various environments from which livelihoods are derived. This provides the basis for my interpretation of individual works by the authors Novalis, Alexander von Humboldt and Heinrich Heine to understand how such an environmental stewardship resides in the literature of the early 19th Century. Both the political tumult of 19th century Europe and the environmental activism of the 20th century were revolutions that heightened awareness of how identity is connected to places. These authors present quintessentially Romantic world-views: they seek to reconcile the counterpoints of individuality and universality by understanding interconnections with the natural world. These interconnections provide insight into how German identity emerged from association with particular natural spaces. The literary expression of this identity and the connection with particular spaces continue to resonate in contemporary environmental activism today.

Additional Information

Honors Project
Hellenbrand, R. (2017). "Imagining Stewardship: Roots Of A Poetic Eco-Politics." Unpublished Honors Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2017
19th Century German Romanticism, Environmental Activism, Etymology, Wirtschaft and economy, National Identity and Environments

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