The Discourse Strategies of Imperialist Writing : The German Colonial Idea and Africa, 1848-1945 book cover
1st Edition

The Discourse Strategies of Imperialist Writing
The German Colonial Idea and Africa, 1848-1945

ISBN 9780367595685
Published August 14, 2020 by Routledge
218 Pages

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Book Description

In this monograph, Felicity Rash examines German colonialist texts through the lens of linguistics, using multiple analytic approaches in order to contribute to the study of ideological discourse. Focusing on texts from Germany’s colonial period during the Second Reich, the book describes the discourse strategies employed in a wide variety of colonialist discourses, from propagandistic and journalistic writing to autobiographical and fictional accounts of life in Germany's African colonies. The methodologies Rash employs include the Discourse Historical Approach and Cognitive Metaphor Theory, and the book aims to develop a new model for the analysis of expansionist nationalist writing. Little detailed analysis exists of the types of texts taken as primary sources, and Rash provides English translations of German quotations, in addition to drawing upon her research in former German colonies in Africa. Rash’s research will be of interest to linguists, historians, Germanists, and social and political scientists, and lays the groundwork for future interdisciplinary analyses of German colonialism.

Table of Contents


1. The Background to German Colonialism

2. The Discourse Historical Approach to Textual Analysis Described and Illustrated

3. Finding Colonies: Travel Writing 1878-1913

4. Controlling Colonies: Political Discourse 1879-1914

5. Living in the Colonies: Memoir and Autobiography 1896-1914

6. The German Colonial Dream after 1919

7. Conclusion

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Felicity Rash is Professor of German Linguistics at Queen Mary, University of London, UK.


'Rash’s book provides seminal insights into the history of Colonialist Discourse in 19th and 20th century Germany and opens up a new field of interdisciplinary research in Discourse-Historical and Postcolonial Studies.' —Andreas Musolff, School of Languages and Communication Studies, University of East Anglia, UK