The Semiotic Language of Patriotism: German Romanticism and Genetic Historicism in Political Propaganda during the Wars of Liberation, 1812-1815

By Sharon Worley.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The German Romantic movement initiated a semiotic code in a variety of interrelated disciplines. Nationalistic in tenor, it established a political movement against Napoleonic tyranny and occupation. In terms of its complete permeation of German intellectual and cultural society by the time of the German Wars of Liberation (1812-15), the movement paralleled the French revolutionary movement to radically reorient society with a new set of social values and their corresponding semiotic symbols. Theories of symbols were formulated by both philosophers and critics, and applied by artists and writers to the corresponding body of art and literature. Nationalist propaganda written by Friedrich Schlegel, Ernst Moritz Arndt, Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Adam Müller designed to encourage recruitment was based on a lexicon of Romantic movement referents.

Keywords: Napoleon, Romanticism, Propaganda, Schlegel, Herder

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp.33-46. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 636.155KB).

Dr. Sharon Worley

Full-Time Adjunct Instructor, Art and English Department, Houston Community College, Kingwood, Texas, USA

I received my Ph.D. in Aesthetics-Humanities from the University of Texas at Dallas (2007) and my MA in Art History from Tufts University (1991). I teach English, Art History and Humanities at colleges in Houston, TX, including the University of Houston, Downtown, the University of St. Thomas and Houston Community College. I am the former curator of the Cape Ann Historical Museum in Gloucester, MA (1993-2000). My area of research is political propaganda, women, literature and art in the 18th and 19th centuries. I am the author of numerous articles and exhibition catalogues, including my forthcoming book, “Women’s Literary Salons and Political Propaganda during the Napoleonic Era.”

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