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

The Discourse Strategies of Imperialist Writing

The German Colonial Idea and Africa, 1848-1945, 1st Edition

By Felicity Rash


206 pages | 13 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2016-12-06
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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.


'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

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

About the Author/Editor

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

About the Series

Routledge Critical Studies in Discourse

Routledge Critical Studies in Discourse publishes high quality original research monographs broadly in the area of critical discourse studies. It seeks theoretically innovative and empirically rigorous research that advances our critical understanding of the interrelations of discourse and social processes, including all aspects of power relations (such as maintenance and perpetuation of dominance; negotiations of power and resistance; as well as solidarity formations for group empowerment). The series supports interdisciplinary research, and welcomes investigations of new topics, domains, issues, frameworks and methods, as well as fresh perspectives on established ones, from a variety of international and cultural contexts. A broad understanding of "discourse" is adopted in the series to include systematic and explicit analyses of spoken/written language and other modes of semiosis (e.g. visual images, sounds, gestures and actions).

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Europe / Germany
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Communication Studies
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Colonialism & Post-Colonialism