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Settled and Unsettled Spaces: Property and Ecological Networks in Sophie von La Roche’s Erscheinungen am See Oneida

Nitschke, Claudia (2022) 'Settled and Unsettled Spaces: Property and Ecological Networks in Sophie von La Roche’s Erscheinungen am See Oneida.', The Germanic Review: Literature, Culture, Theory, 97 (2).


In Sophie von La Roche’s novel Erscheinungen am See Oneida (1797/98), property not only functions as a category that assists the “imposition of the same system of exchange everywhere” (as G. C. Spivak postulates for the processes of globalization); La Roche also emphasizes the bioconnective dimensions and the corresponding ethical limitations of access. La Roche’s valiant settlers and their environment are emphatically understood as a holistic, living entity with a shared ecology. A specific form of early ‘global’ property and its (quasi planetary) modification are instructively intertwined here. In view of the ‘planetary turn’, the different layers of La Roche’s complex understanding of property, on the whole indicative of the eighteenth century, are worth revisiting in order to better understand where systemic and scalar shifts, ruptures and/or continuities occur.

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Publisher statement:This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.
Date accepted:26 March 2022
Date deposited:02 August 2022
Date of first online publication:07 July 2022
Date first made open access:02 August 2022

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