Att skapa sig själv : Carl Peter Thunbergs persona konstruerad genom hans reseskildring
Sammanfattning: This thesis by the name To create oneself: Carl Peter Thunberg’s persona constructed by means of his travel account draws inspiration from recent studies within the history of science regarding the concept of persona. It seeks to expand the notion of persona to examine how it could be constructed and refined by individuals. In doing so, it offers an alternative approach to persona. Not as intellectual standard types but as a joining together of qualities that through the joining creates unique personae to each individual. Furthermore, the essay looks at change, and how it could function as an aspect of a persona. In order to examine this, I will look at how the persona of Carl Peter Thunberg was constructed in his travel account which was published in four parts and covered his travels in Europe, Africa and Asia in the 1770s. Thunberg was one of Carl von Linné’s students and a natural historian and physician in his own right. His travel account was widely anticipated and offered an opportunity for him to introduce himself to a wider audience. This source is exemplary for this kind of analysis as all four parts of the travel account existed within the same genre and was written for the same public, yet changes occurred in how Thunberg was portrayed. Rather than explaining these changes in how Thunberg was portrayed by changes in his personal circumstances, I will argue that they are best understood by considering the aspect of change as a central strategy in constructing Thunberg’s persona as a evolving scientist and natural historian.
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