A detail of the map implied in John Polidori’s The Vampyre (1819). Figure: Asko Nivala

The Redefinition of European Borders in English and German Romanticism


Most texts are spatial implying a network of important places. This was especially typical of the Romantic era (1790–1840) that was characterised by the growing interest in historical and natural sites. My research project provides a new interpretation of English and German Romanticism by changing the focus from temporal to spatial. On the special focus of this presentation is Romantic Philhellenism and the interest in the Greek areas of the Ottoman Empire. The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) and the Greek War of Independence (1821–1829) were redefining the borders of Europe, and the English and German Romantics were actively participating on the spatial definition of European culture. I analyse the spatiality of Romantic texts by reconstructing the various maps they implied by using named-entity recognition (NER), geoparsing and other text mining methods. The study of Romanticism has often focused on the canon of few famous authors, but applying the methods of the digital humanities has a potential to analyse a much bigger corpus of primary sources.