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Other titles in the Post-Contemporary Interventions series:
Colonial Fantasies: Conquest, Family, and Nation in Precolonial Germany, 1770-1870 (Post-Contemporary Interventions)by Susanne Zantop
Synopses & Reviews
Since Germany became a colonial power relatively late, postcolonial theorists and histories of colonialism have thus far paid little attention to it. Uncovering Germany’s colonial legacy and imagination, Susanne Zantop reveals the significance of colonial fantasies—a kind of colonialism without colonies—in the formation of German national identity. Through readings of historical, anthropological, literary, and popular texts, Zantop explores imaginary colonial encounters of "Germans" with "natives" in late-eighteenth- and early-nineteenth-century literature, and shows how these colonial fantasies acted as a rehearsal for actual colonial ventures in Africa, South America, and the Pacific.
From as early as the sixteenth century, Germans preoccupied themselves with an imaginary drive for colonial conquest and possession that eventually grew into a collective obsession. Zantop illustrates the gendered character of Germany’s colonial imagination through critical readings of popular novels, plays, and travel literature that imagine sexual conquest and surrender in colonial territory—or love and blissful domestic relations between colonizer and colonized. She looks at scientific articles, philosophical essays, and political pamphlets that helped create a racist colonial discourse and demonstrates that from its earliest manifestations, the German colonial imagination contained ideas about a specifically German national identity, different from, if not superior to, most others.
Traces German desires to discover, conquer and dominate ‘new worlds’ — real and imagined-- expressed in stories and literature during the century preceding any actual German colonization.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -285) and index.
About the Author
“Colonial Fantasies is an excellent contribution to the understanding of German colonialism and its representational regimes.”—John K. Noyes, University of Cape Town
“Susanne Zantop has already established herself as one of the leading scholars in eighteenth and nineteenth-century German literature and culture, and it is no surprise that her long-awaited book is so compelling. Her historically informed study of German fantasies. . . breaks new ground at the intersections of literature, philosophy, and the ‘political unconscious’.”—W. Daniel Wilson, University of California
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