Harry M Liebersohn
COSMOPOLITANS: TRAVELERS AND PHILOSOPHERS
Professor Liebersohn focuses on modern European intellectual and cultural history. During his Center appointment, he will write a book on scientific world travelers from the mid-eighteenth to the mid-nineteenth centuries, their worldly testing of philosophers’ cosmopolitan ideas, and their role in forming a global network of knowledge. He will relate how patrons at home and hosts in Polynesia confronted travelers with state, commercial, and cultural hindrances to global community, complicating though not completely disappointing their hopes. More broadly, he will discuss the understanding of non-European peoples that took shape from their relations to patrons at home, hosts abroad, and philosophers of the Enlightenment and Romantic eras. German travelers and philosophers form the core of the book, which will also examine travelers from France, Britain, America, and Russia.