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Forster, Georg (1754-1794)

Coordinated by Emmanuel Hourcade -

École normale supérieure de Lyon, IHRIM

Johann Georg Adam Forster (1754-1794) was an eighteenth-century German ethnographer and travel writer, who in 1772 accompanied Captain James Cook on his second voyage, being one of the pioneering German overseas explorers. A Voyage Round the World (1777), the account of the expedition among the South Pacific societies secured young Forster a prominent place within German intelligentsia of that time, as the richness, vividness and sophistication of the ethnographic reports contained in his travelogue quickly won the attention of the public and European academic circles. By the virtue of its impact, Forster was recognized as the founding father of the German scientific literature, who left an indelible contribution to the development of ethnography in the German-speaking countries.

Keywords: Völkerkunde | Travel literature | Scientific Expeditions | Ethnography | Enlightenment | 18th century | Germany | Oceania