SFB 1369 Cultures of vigilance

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Vigilance and Self-Empowerment in the American Enlightenment

teilbereich_198x149px_a02Project A03

Principal Investigator

Prof. Dr. Klaus Benesch


Dr. Patrick Geiger

Project Description

The historical transformation of established practices of vigilance and self-scrutiny is an indelible aspect of the SFB’s overall research agenda. 

This project looks at how, in the American colonies, religiously inflected forms of vigilance (the Puritan “ideology of control”) are being increasingly secularized during the eighteenth century.

By analyzing a wide variety of written documents, such as diaries, memoirs, personal correspondences, early almanacs etc., it strives to elucidate how new secular regimes of social and individual attentiveness have emerged to eventually provide a cultural template with repercussions well into our own time.