MAPPING GERMANY'S COLONIAL DISCOURSE: FANTASY, REALITY AND DILEMMA
OKAFOR, UCHE ONYEDI
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ABSTRACT Title of Dissertation: MAPPING GERMANY'S COLONIAL DISCOURSE: FANTASY, REALITY, AND DILEMMA Uche Onyedi Okafor, Doctor of Philosophy, 2013. Dissertation directed by: Professor Elke P. Frederiksen Department of Germanic Studies School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures This project engages Germany's colonial discourse from the 18th century to the acquisition of colonies in East Africa during the period of European imperialism. Germany's colonial discourse started with periphery travels and studies in the 18th century. The writings of German scholars and authors about periphery space and peoples provoked a strong desire to experience the exotic periphery among Germans, particularly the literate bourgeoisie. From a spectatorial and critical positioning vis-à-vis the colonial activities of other Europeans, Germans developed a projected affinity with the oppressed peoples of the periphery. Out of the identificatory positioning with the periphery peoples emerged the fantasy of "model/humane" colonialism (Susanne Zantop). However, studies in Germany's colonial enterprise reveal a predominance of brutality and inhumanity right from its inception in 1884. The conflictual relationship between the fantasy of "model/humane" colonialism and the reality of brutality and inhumanity, as studies reveal, causes one to wonder what happened along the way. This is the fundamental question this project deals with. Chapter one establishes the validity of the theoretical and methodological approaches used in this project - Cultural Studies, New Historicism and Postcolonialism. Chapter two is a review of secondary literatures on Germany's colonial enterprise in general, and in Africa in particular. Chapter three focuses on the emergence of the fantasy of "model/humane" colonialism as discussed in Johann Reinhold Forster's Observations made during a Voyage round the World, 1778, and its demonstration in Joachim Heinrich Campe's Robinson der Jüngere, 1789. Section one of chapter four discusses the constellations which provided the impetus for colony acquisition (Friedrich Fabri's Bedard Deutschland der Colonien?, 1879), and the activities of Carl Peters, the founder of German East Africa as depicted in Balder Olden's Ich bin Ich. Der Roman Carl Peters, 1927. Section two examines German colonists' efforts to consolidate Germany's hold on the colonial property (Frieda von Bülow's Der Konsul. Vaterländischer Roman aus unseren Tagen, 1891, and Im Lande der Verheißung: Ein deutscher Kolonialroman, 1899). Chapter five discusses the concept of dilemma in the conflictual relationship between the fantasy of "model/humane" colonialism and the reality of colonialism. Chapter six summarizes the findings of the project.