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Natter, Wolfgang (Wolfgang G. Natter)

PERSONAL:

Education: Wesleyan University, earned bachelor's degree; Johns Hopkins University, earned master's degree and Ph.D.

ADDRESSES:

Office—Director of ASPECT, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 523 Major Williams Hall, Blacksburg, VA 24061. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

University of Kentucky, Lexington, professor of political science and cofounder and director of Committee on Social Theory; Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, professor of political science and director of Alliance of Social, Political, Ethical, Cultural Thought (ASPECT). Executive director of International Social Theory Consortium and codirector of Center for Democratic Planning and Participatory Research. Visiting professor at University of Jena; Leibniz Professor at Center for Advanced Study, Leipzig University; research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science and University of South Florida.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Grants from Fulbright Commission, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Science Foundation, Deutsche Akademische Austauschdienst, American Council of Learned Societies, and Rockefeller Foundation.

WRITINGS:

(Editor, with John Paul Jones III and Theodore R. Schatzki) Postmodern Contentions: Epochs, Politics, Space, Guilford Press (New York, NY), 1993.

(Editor, with John Paul Jones III and Theodore R. Schatzki) Objectivity and Its Other, Guilford Press (New York, NY), 1995.

(Editor, with Theodore R. Schatzki) The Social and Political Body, Guilford Press (New York, NY), 1996.

(As Wolfgang G. Natter) Literature at War, 1914-1940: Representing the "Time of Greatness" in Germany, Yale University Press (New Haven, CT), 1999.

Contributor of articles to professional journals. Guest editor of journal issues, including Geojournal. Member of editorial board of Social Geography and Ethics, Place, Environment; former member of editorial board of disClosure, PMLA, Annals of American Geography, and German Studies Review.

SIDELIGHTS:

Wolfgang Natter is a professor specializing in political, social, and cultural theory. Objectivity and Its Other, a collection of ten essays edited with John Paul Jones III and Theodore R. Schatzki, "takes up a puzzling problem in the philosophy of science that has important consequences for rhetorical theory and research methodology," observed M. Jimmie Killingsworth in Technical Communication. The work "addresses the practicality of the presumption that objectivity is necessary for science or for effective scholarship, and it does so in a manner cognizant of the now widely accepted assumption that scientific methods do not and cannot act as reflecting devices to accurately capture the inherent properties of nature," Robert P. Gephart stated in the Electronic Journal of Radical Organisation Theory. "The book's great strength," wrote Killingsworth, "is a clear presentation of the challenge to objectivism, particularly as it applies to social theory and research in the human sciences." Gephart called Objectivity and Its Other "a provocative and useful contribution to the literature on objectivity in humanistic and social research. It constitutes a postmodern conceptualization of objectivity and its others, and it explores many important issues which emerge from this conceptualization. It offers a brief and detailed introduction to scholarly knowledge of objectivity and its others, and it may encourage readers to give greater consideration to the important role of philosophical (specifically, epistemological and ontological) in inquiry."

In Literature at War, 1914-1940: Representing the "Time of Greatness" in Germany, Natter "utilizes an integrated approach that examines the relationship between culture and warfare," remarked Arthur P. Young in the Literary Quarterly. Young added that the author "demonstrates that the militarization of literature proceeded apace during World War I and well into the Weimar Republic. Natter diligently mines relevant archival sources for the period 1914-40 and explores the roles and interplay of military agencies, publishers, libraries, bookstores, military personnel, and politicians. The intersection of war literature and the agencies of dissemination created and preserved a nationalist value system that enabled a defeated Germany to recover and reinvoke its heroic past within another generation." According to H-German Web site contributor Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius, "Among the many points which Natter presents with fresh and compelling emphasis in this rich study is a more nuanced understanding of the many forms which censorship can take, apart from the sense of simple official proscription. These can also include the internalized self-censorship of authors and publishing houses, the official commissioning of works, and the dynamics of physical publishing in a wartime economy of scarcity." "This study has much to offer a student of Great War literature, although not in the usual way," stated Ann P. Linder in the International Fiction Review. "There is very little of traditional literary criticism here. In fact, Natter derogates the position of the author and instead sees the literary work as the result of a cultural and social process. He provides an outstanding overview of the tangible origins of war literature in Germany during and following World War I."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Economic Geography, April, 1994, Trevor J. Barnes, review of Postmodern Contentions: Epochs, Politics, Space, p. 188.

International Fiction Review, January, 2001, Ann P. Linder, review of Literature at War, 1914-1940: Representing the "Time of Greatness" in Germany, p. 113.

Library Quarterly, July, 2001, Arthur P. Young, review of Literature at War, 1914-1940, p. 418.

Modern Language Review, July, 2001, Malcolm Humble, review of Literature at War, 1914-1940, p. 897.

Technical Communication, February, 1996, M. Jimmie Killingsworth, review of Objectivity and Its Other, p. 100.

ONLINE

Electronic Journal of Radical Organisation Theory,http://www.mngt.waikato.ac.nz/ejrot/ (March 15, 2007), Robert P. Gephart, review of Objectivity and Its Other.

H-German, http://www.h-net.org/˜german/ (April 11, 2007), Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius, review of Literature at War, 1914-1940.

Virginia Tech University Web site,http://www.vt.edu/ (March 15, 2007), "Wolfgang Natter."

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Natter, Wolfgang (Wolfgang G. Natter)

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