Rolf Haaser

Rolf Haaser, Dr. phil., is an independent Researcher, Writer and Translator, who is currently associated as Research Fellow with the University of Tübingen. He completed his PhD in Modern German Literature at the University of Giessen and was engaged in several research projects based at the Universities of Giessen, Bonn, and Tübingen. He authored a series of books, in particular on the Post-WWII Memory Culture and the literary and artistic estate of Felix and Editha Klipstein, and published widely in the field of the Hessian Literary History of the 17th-21st centuries, the History of Knowledge (Karl Vogt, Justus Liebig), and the entertainment magazines around 1800.

My Research

The paper contributes to the panel that focuses on periodicals devoted to widespread coverage of the literary-cultural field in the first half of the 19th century. In order to illuminate distinctive features of this periodical literature, considered a highly innovative genre at its time, the paper explores the most influential media on the German-language cultural marketplace: Zeitung für die elegante Welt, and Der Freimüthige.


Escalating polemics. The media competition between Der Freimüthige and the Zeitung für die elegante Welt in 1803

With the Zeitung für die elegante Welt a highly innovative periodical genre was presented by G. Voss and C. Spazier which promptly provoked a number of succeding competitative periodicals founded at the beginning of the 19th century. In addition to F. Cotta who followed the Leipzig model with his Morgenblatt für gebildete Stände in 1807, August von Kotzebue was one of the first successors to adopt this same groundbreaking concept. At the time as his journal, Der Freimüthige, featured in Berlin in 1803, Kotzebue was an internationally celebrated writer and a renowned public figure. He also knew the editorial work from his own experience after having published periodicals aiming at entertainment for the general public in St. Petersburg and in Reval previously. Interestingly, in order to establish the new project published in Berlin, Kotzebue decided to apply polemics as the medium’s main journalistic strategy. This paper shows in detail how brilliant polemic against competitors became instrumental for strategic marketing of the entertainment periodical Der Freimüthige.

Recent Publications

Anna Ananieva/Rolf Haaser: Publizität und Diplomatie. Politische Skandale um August von Kotzebue und Alexander von Stourdza im Kontext ideologischer Radikalisierung nach dem Wartburgfest, in: Joachim Bauer u.a. (Hg.), Das Wartburgfest 1817 als Europäisches Ereignis. Stuttgart 2020, S. 225-253.

Anna Ananieva/Rolf Haaser: Coping with Floods: The Imaginary Community of the »Elegant World« and the Hungarian Flood Disaster of 1838, in: Dynamics of Social Change and Perceptions of Threat. Ed. by Ewald Frie, Thomas Kohl, Mischa Meier. Tübingen 2018, S. 167-181.

Anna Ananieva/Rolf Haaser: Elegante Unterhaltung. Die Leipziger »Zeitung für die elegante Welt« und ihre deutschsprachigen Nachfolger in Prag und Ofen-Pest, in: Katja Mellmann/Jesko Reiling (Hg.), Literarische Öffentlichkeit im mittleren 19. Jahrhundert. Vergessene Konstellationen literarischer Kommunikation zwischen 1840 und 1885. Berlin 2016, S. 35-60.

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