316 pages | 54 B/W Illus.
There is no overarching master narrative in understanding the history of German colonialism, and over the past decade, the study of Germany’s colonial past has experienced a dramatic transformation in its scope of inquiry. Influenced by new theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of race, nationalism, and globalization, these new studies initiate a process of reevaluating and redefining the parameters within which German Colonialism is understood. The role of visual materials, in particular, is ideal for exploring the porousness of disciplinary boundaries, though visual culture studies pertaining to German history – and especially German colonialism – have previously been almost completely neglected. Investigating visual communication and mass culture, print culture and suggestive racial politics, racial aesthetics, racial politics and early German film, racial continuity and German film, and photography, German Colonialism, Visual Culture, and Modern Memory offers compelling evidence of a German society between 1884 and 1919 that produced vibrant and heterogeneous – and at times contradictory – cultures of colonialism.
This collection of new essays illustrates the dramatic changes and vast array of perspectives that have recently emerged in the study of German colonialism. In documenting the latest cutting-edge research of German colonial history, the contributors to this volume prove wrong the persistent assumptions that the creation of Germany’s colonial empire did not have any lasting impact on German political and cultural life. Their essays document how colonialism in its various forms was entwined with the inner workings of modern German life and society, especially through the cultural and technical innovations of its time. In contrast to existing research, these studies show that colonial Germany played a significant role in shaping German perceptions of racial difference, influenced German support for World War I, and facilitated the construction of German nationalism. German Colonialism, Visual Culture, and Modern Memory uniquely demonstrates that the visual culture of colonialism is closely linked to the fascination with new modes of seeing and the enigma of visual experience that have become trademarks of modernity.
‘[A] comprehensive collection of studies that examine materials from new and creative angles. The inclusion of essays on both issues of actual German colonialism, as well as its continuation in different shapes in postcolonial times, convincingly demonstrates that continuous engagement with its ideological legacy is still of relevance today. … What distinguishes most contributions is the interdisciplinary methods of inquiry their authors use to provide new insights into German colonialism and its impact.’
– German Studies Review
Acknowledgements. Introduction: Picturing Race: Visuality and German Colonialism. Volker Langbehn. German Colonialism 1884–1919. 1. Advertising and the Optics of Colonial Power at the fin de siècle. David Ciarlo. 2. "… will try to send you the best views from here" – Postcards from the Colonial War in Namibia (1904–1908). Felix Axster. 3. Harmless "Kolonialbiedermeier"? Colonial and Exotic Trading Cards. Joachim Zeller. 4. Cakewalking the Anarchy of Empire around 1900. Astrid Kusser. 5. Satire Magazines and Racial Politics. Volker Langbehn. 6. Demystifying Colonial Settlement: Building Handbooks for Settlers, 1904–1930. Itohan Osayimwese. 7. Patriotism, Spectacle and Reverie: Colonialism in Early Cinema. Wolfgang Fuhrmann. German Postcolonialism 1919–Present. 8. Persuasive Maps and a Suggestive Novel – Hans Grimm’s Volk ohne Raum and German Cartography in Southwest Africa. Oliver Simons. 9. Colonial Disgust: The Colonial Master’s Emotion of Superiority. Thomas Schwarz. 10. Weimar Revisions of Germany’s Colonial Past: The Photomontages of Hannah Höch and László Moholy-Nagy. Brett M. Van Hoesen. 11. The "Colonial Idea" in Weimar Cinema. Christian Rogowski. 12. "The Black Jew": An After-Image of German Colonialism. Birgit Haehnel. 13. Reenacting Colonialism: Germany and its Former Colonies in Recent TV Productions. Wolfgang Struck. 14. Postcolonial Amnesia? Taboo Memories and Kanaks with Cameras. Deniz Göktürk. Contributors. References. Index.