Curiosity in Eighteenth-Century English Literature (WT)

Internally funded project

Project Details

Project leader:
PD Dr. Simone Broders

Contributing FAU Organisations:
Lehrstuhl für Anglistik, insbesondere Literaturwissenschaft

Start date: 01/08/2012
End date: 31/12/2017

Research Fields

Literature and Culture of the 'Long' Eighteenth Century
Lehrstuhl für Anglistik, insbesondere Literaturwissenschaft

Abstract (technical / expert description):

Samuel Johnson famously called curiosity "the first passion, and the last" -  this study explores diverging concepts of curiosity, taking into account the influences of philosophical aspects of the curiositas debate on British literature, from its origins to contemporary depictions, with an emphasis on eighteenth-century texts.   


A post-Foucauldian history of ideas for the 21st century aims at breaking the illusion of a seemingly fixed, holistic concept of curiosity, striving teleologically from original sin to a celebrated character trait of intellectuals, as Hans Blumenberg described it. Developing an innovative metaphor for Lovejoy's original unit ideas at work, this project traces their variability through time, individual philosophical system, and dogmatisation.




Broders, S. (2016). The Fast and the Curious: The Role of Curiosity in the Gothic Heroine’s “Grand Tour of the Mind”. English Studies, 8(98), 917-930.
Broders, S. (2013). 'A Serpent to Sting You' - The Medical Practitioner Caught Between Curiosity and Monstrosity. Frankenstein, Jekyll, Moreau. In Lembert-Heidenreich Alexandra; Mildorf, Jarmila (Eds.), The writing cure: literature and medicine in context. (pp. 55-76). Münster: Lit.

Last updated on 2018-22-11 at 16:46