Professor of Comparative Literature
Jocelyn Holland's research is located at the intersection of literary, philosophical, and scientific thinking in the 18th- and 19th-century European context. Her book projects have analyzed such topics as how scientific discussions about procreation and generation around 1800 were incorporated into literary texts, and how the mechanical lever was used to model aspects of human cognition in literature, philosophy, and empirical psychology.
Her current book project, provisionally titled, Discoveries in an Overlooked Discipline: Theories of Technology in the Long Eighteenth Century, is on the idea of technology in the context of 18th-century Germany. With reference to a corpus of technological dictionaries, treatises, and teaching manuals by Johann Beckmann, Johann Jacobsson, Georg Lamprecht, Johann Poppe, and others, the project reconstructs the emerging discussion about technology in the 18th century by considering it from various angles: as a translated word, a concept, a science, and an academic discipline. The goals of the project are to provide annotated translations that will make the writings of those self-proclaimed technologists accessible to an Anglophone audience for the first time and, through a series of essays, to analyze the many challenges facing the nascent ‘science' of technology. The project will also underscore connections between 18th-century contributions to the philosophical history of technology and more contemporary theoretical approaches to the ‘question of technology.'
- NEH Grant (with Wolf Kittler): "Keeping Time: Scientific Theory and Cultural Practice from Galileo's Pendulum to the Atomic Clock."
- Richard Sussman Prize for work on Goethe in the History of Science. Awarded for the essay, "Observing Neutrality, circa 1800."
Single Authored Books
- The Lever as Instrument of Reason. Technological Constructions of Knowledge around 1800. (April 2019)
- Key Texts on the Science and Art of Nature by Johann Wilhelm Ritter. (Brill, 2010).
- German Romanticism and Science: the Procreative Poetics of Goethe, Novalis and Ritter. (Routledge, 2009).
Co-Edited Journal Editions
- With Joel Lande, On Anomalies. In German MLN 134.3 (2019)
- With Gabriel Trop, Statics, Mechanics, Dynamics: Theories of Equilibrium around 1800. In Germanic Review (Spring 2017).
- With Wolf Kittler, Keeping Time. Scientific Theory and Cultural Practice. InConfigurations (July 2015).
- With Edgar Landgraf, The Archimedean Point. From Fixed Positions to the Limit of Theory. In SubStance (2014).
- With Rüdiger Campe and Elisabeth Strowick, Observation in Science and Literature. In Monatshefte (Fall 2013).
- With Susanne Strätling, Aesthetics of the Tool: Technologies, Figures, and Instruments of Literature and Art. In Configurations (July 2011).
- "Romantic Acts of Generation," in Palgrave Handbook of German Romantic Philosophy, ed. Elizabeth Millán Brusslan (Palgrave 2020).
- "Reproduction without polarity in the work of Johann Wilhelm Ritter," in History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 42 (2020). (https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40656-020-00343-w)
- "Elemental Connections: Concinnity's Romantic Aftermath." European Romantic Review 31.2 (2020).
- "Kielmeyer between Mechanics and Organicism," in Kielmeyer and the Organic World, edited by Lydia Azadpour and Daniel Whistler (Boomsbury 2020).
- "Instruction in an Imperfect Science: Teaching Technology around 1800." Amodern 9: Techniques and Technologies, edited by Grant Wythoff, Amodern 9 (2020) (https://amodern.net/article/imperfect-science/).
- "Physics as Art: Johann Wilhelm Ritter's Construction Projects." In Beyond Autonomy in Eighteenth-Century British and German Aesthetics, edited by Mattias Pirholt, Karl Axelsson, and Camilla Flodin (Routledge 2020).
- "Giving Voice to Anomalies: Nachtmelke and other Irregularities." German MLN 134.3 (2019)
- "On the Paradigmatic Force of Anomaly," co-authored with Joel Lande. German MLN 134.3 (2019)
- "Beyond Death: Posthuman Perspectives in Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland's Macrobiotics" in Edgar Landgraf, Gabriel Trop and Leif Weatherby, eds., Posthumanism in the Age of Humanism. Bloomsbury (2018).
- "Der Hebel als Modell des Menschen," in Maschinen des Lebens - Leben der Maschinen. Zur historischen Epistemologie und Metaphorologie von Maschine und Leben Jakob Heller, Tim Sparenberg und Patricia Gwozdz, eds. Kadmos Verlag (2018).
- "Literature, Time, and Scientific Revolutions," in Thomas Allen, ed., Time and Literature, Cambridge Critical Concepts series (Cambridge UP).
- "The Silence of Ritter's," Special edition of the Germanic Review on "Romantic Science and Form," Antje Pfannkuchen and Leif Weatherby, eds. (2017).
- "Schelling and the Art of Balance: Equilibrium in the Philosophy of Art," inStatics, Mechanics, Dynamics: Modes of Equilibrium around 1800, edited by Jocelyn Holland and Gabriel Trop in Germanic Review (Spring 2017).
- "Balancing Acts: Equilibrium in Romanticism and Nature Philosophy around 1800" in New Work on German Romanticism, special edition of theRomantic Circles Praxis Series, edited by Zachary Sng.
- "Observing Neutrality, circa 1800" in Goethe Yearbook 23 (2016), 41-57.
- "In the Spirit of "clever inventions and constellations": the Mechanics of Romantic Systems (special edition of Praxis on "Romantic Systems," edited by Mark Canuel (2016).
- "Facts are what one makes of them. Constructing the Faktum in the Enlightenment and Early German Romanticism." Fact and Fiction: Literature and Science in the German and European Context, edited by Christine Lehleiter. University of Toronto Press, 2016.
- "A Natural History of Disturbance: Time and the Solar Eclipse" in Keeping Time: Scientific Theory and Cultural Practice, edited by Jocelyn Holland and Wolf Kittler (Configurations 23.2, Spring 2015).
- "Sailing Ships and Firm Ground: Archimedean Points and Platforms" in The Archimedean Point. From Fixed Positions to the Limit of Theory, special issue of SubStance 43 (2014), Jocelyn Holland and Edgar Landgraf, eds.
- "Zeugung / Fortpflanzung. Distinctions of Medium in the Discourse on Procreation around 1800." In Reproduction, Race, and Gender in Philosophy and the Early Life Sciences, edited by Susanne Lettow, ed. (SUNY Press, 2013).
- "Angeln, Blatt, Constellation: Plural Forms in Nietzsche's 'Ueber Wahrheit und Lüge im aussermoralischen Sinne.'" MLN (2012).
- "From Romantic Tools to Technics. Heideggerian Questions in Novalis's Anthropology." in Aesthetics of the Tool: Technologies, Figures, and Instruments of Literature and Art. In Configurations (July 2011).