In: KulturPoetik 2008, Heft 1


Stephanie Stockhorst


Geschichte(n) der Menschheit. Zur Narrativität der historischen Kulturanthropologie in der Spätaufklärung




Using examples of different types of text, by Adelung, Wieland, and Wezel, this article seeks to explore the relationship between cultural anthropology and narrativity in the Enlightenment. All three texts generate both meaning and coherence by fusing disparate historical events into one single overarching (hi)story. By employing literary forms and devices to demonstrate their particular model of cultural anthropology, the authors reinforce the narrative construction of meaning. This way of presenting historical anthropology was made possible in and limited to the second half of the 18th century, through the agency of a new conception of history as a universal process, the discovery of man as the subject of history, and a general tendency towards narrativity in historiographical writing.