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Germanics at UW welcomes a new visiting scholar, Dr. Sabine Frost

Submitted by Ellwood Wiggins on September 26, 2012 - 5:27pm

Sabine Frost studied Literary Studies (General and Comparative as well as New German Literary Studies) at the University of Erfurt, Germany. She finished her PhD with a dissertation entitled "Whiteout. Schneefälle und Weißeinbrüche in der Literatur ab 1800" ("Whiteout. Snow and Whiteness in Literature since 1800") in 2011 and worked as postdoctoral assistant in the graduate school "Mediale Historiographien" (History of Media–Media of History) at the Bauhaus University in Weimar. Her new research project, "Naturfreunde und Menschenfeinde: Ökologische Zivilisationskritik in der Literatur " ("Friends of Nature, Enemies of Man"), examines the environmental critique of civilization in literature. The study analyzes texts that expose the relation between man and the environment since the end of the eighteenth century in Western Europe and North America. The focus is on the turn from a critique of environmentally harmful economic and social systems to an anti-humanistic critique of
civilization itself. The tendency of the environmental protection movements, which began to establish themselves around 1800, to separate the perception of nature from its capacity to fulfill human requirements is related to the literary aim of renouncing purposive rationality and giving poetry itself an aesthetic value. The thesis is based on the structural relation between biocentrism, which declares nature’s intrinsic value, and the autonomy of literature.

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