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Grant number: RQ-249933-16

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University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (Urbana, IL 61801-3620)
Craig M. Koslofsky (Project Director: December 2015 to present)
Roberto Zaugg (Co Project Director: February 2016 to present)

Europe, Africa, and the Caribbean: The Travel Account and Biography of Johann Peter Oettinger, 1682-1696

Preparation for publication of a translation of the manuscript journal of Johann Peter Oettinger, a 17th-century German barber-surgeon, describing his travels in Germany, the Netherlands, the Caribbean, and Africa.

From 1682 to 1696 the barber-surgeon Johann Peter Oettinger (1666-1746) traveled across Germany and the Netherlands and sailed on Dutch and Brandenburg slave ships to the Caribbean and Africa. He recorded his experiences in a vivid manuscript journal, but until now his text was known only through an incomplete and heavily manipulated “edition” published in 1885-86, and from a partial English translation (1985) of the 1885-86 text. In 2010-11 Zaugg and Koslofsky discovered a copy of the original manuscript in a Berlin archive. Rich in detail on Africa, Oettinger’s journal contains a rare description of the court of King Agbangla of Hueda (Benin), and is the only German-language account of the slave trade and the Middle Passage from this era. The full manuscript will be vital to historians of medicine, race, and the Atlantic world. Our annotated English translation will make this text readily available and replace the deeply flawed 1885/86 German text and its partial English translation.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
African History; European History; History, Other

Scholarly Editions and Translations

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$74,682 (approved)
$74,682 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2017 – 11/30/2018