Synopses & Reviews
"Africa in Translation
is a thoughtful contribution to the literature on colonialism and culture in Germany and will find readers in the fields of German history and German studies as well as appealing to audiences in the large and interdisciplinary fields of colonialism and postcolonialism."
---Jennifer Jenkins, University of Toronto
The study of African languages in Germany, or Afrikanistik, originated among Protestant missionaries in the early nineteenth century and was incorporated into German universities after Germany entered the "Scramble for Africa" and became a colonial power in the 1880s. Despite its long history, few know about the German literature on African languages or the prominence of Germans in the discipline of African philology. In Africa in Translation: A History of Colonial Linguistics in Germany and Beyond, 1814--1945, Sara Pugach works to fill this gap, arguing that Afrikanistik was essential to the construction of racialist knowledge in Germany. While in other countries biological explanations of African difference were central to African studies, the German approach was essentially linguistic, linking language to culture and national identity. Pugach traces this linguistic focus back to the missionaries' belief that conversion could not occur unless the "Word" was allowed to touch a person's heart in his or her native language, as well as to the connection between German missionaries living in Africa and armchair linguists in places like Berlin and Hamburg. Over the years, this resulted in Afrikanistik scholars using language and culture rather than biology to categorize African ethnic and racial groups. Africa in Translation follows the history of Afrikanistik from its roots in the missionaries' practical linguistic concerns to its development as an academic subject in both Germany and South Africa throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Sara Pugach is Assistant Professor of History at California State University, Los Angeles.
Jacket image: Perthes, Justus. Mittel und Süd-Afrika. Map. Courtesy of the University of Michigan's Stephen S. Clark Library map collection.
"Pugach's book is thoroughly researched, well written, original, and highly interesting. It makes great reading."
—Ursula Wokoeck, American Historical Review
"Pugach casts light upon lesser-studied facets of Colonial African history, and makes convincing and logical connections to broader concepts, portraying German Protestant missionaries as influential colonial agents."
—Critical Multilingualism Studies
American Historical Review
"The story presented here serves as both an epilogue to the ethnic and demographic turmoil that marked the early twentieth century in Europe and as a prologue to the story of certain European emigrant communities seeking new homes - physically, politically, and culturally - in the Cold War world." - Jay Howard Geller, German Studies Review
"Mitchell's work is an impressive study of the dynamics that have formed Germany since 1945. Highly Recommended"
—D.J. Dietrich, Choice
"[Africa in Translation] shines a welcome spotlight on the transnational and national varieties of intellectual imperial scholarship and their role in European colonialism."
--Sharon Turkington Burke, European Review of History
A strong and thoughtful study of Afrikanistik's role in the construction of racialist knowledge in Germany
Beyond Berlin breaks new ground in the ongoing effort to understand how memorials, buildings, and other spaces have figured in Germany's confrontation with its Nazi past. The contributors challenge reigning views of Germany's postwar memory work by examining how specific urban centers apart from the nation's capital have wrestled with their respective Nazi legacies. A wide range of West and East German cities is profiled in the volume: prominent metropolises like Hamburg, dynamic regional centers like Dresden, gritty industrial cities like Wolfsburg, and idyllic rural towns like Quedlinburg. In employing historical, art historical, anthropological, and geographical methodologies to examine these and other important urban centers, the volume's case studies shed new light upon the complex ways in which the confrontation with the Nazi past has directly shaped the German urban landscape since the end of the Second World War.
"Beyond Berlin is one of the most fascinating, deeply probing collections ever published on Germany's ongoing confrontation with its Nazi past. Its editors, Gavriel Rosenfeld and Paul Jaskot, have taken the exploration of Germany's urban memorial landscape to its highest level yet."
---James E. Young, Professor and Chair, Department of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies, University of Massachusetts Amherst, and author of The Texture of Memory and At Memory's Edge
"This is a top-notch collection of essays that positions itself in the populated field of memory studies by bringing together original contributions representing the best of new scholarship on architecture, urban design, monuments, and memory in East and West Germany. Taken together, the essays remind readers that the Nazi past is always present when German architects, urban planners, and politicians make decisions to tear down, rebuild, restore, and memorialize."
---S. Jonathan Wiesen, Department of History, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale
The elements of colonial relationships were easily adapted to address the border between Western and Eastern Europe
In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, representations of Poland and the Slavic East cast the region as a primitive, undeveloped, or empty space inhabited by a population destined to remain uncivilized without the aid of external intervention. These depictions often made direct reference to the American Wild West, portraying the eastern steppes as a boundless plain that needed to be wrested from the hands of unruly natives and spatially ordered into German-administrated units.and#160;
While conventional definitions locate colonial space overseas, Kristin Kopp argues that it was possible to understand both distant continents and adjacent Eastern Europe as parts of the same global periphery dependent upon Western European civilizing efforts. However, proximity to the source of aid translated to greater benefits for Eastern Europe than for more distant regions.
An interdisciplinary study of refugee communities in postand#8211;WWII Germany
andquot;Though its primary focus is on the immediate postwar, Between National Socialism and Soviet Communism will surely illuminate the contemporary crisis around citizenship and definitions of Germanness in the context of European Union and globalization.andquot;
---Geoff Eley, University of Michiganand#160;
and#160;In May of 1945, there were more than eight million andquot;displaced personsandquot; (or DPs) in Germany---recently liberated foreign workers, concentration camp prisoners, and prisoners of war from all of Nazi-occupied Europe, as well as eastern Europeans who had fled west before the advancing Red Army. Although most of them quickly returned home, it soon became clear that large numbers of eastern European DPs could or would not do so. In the aftermath of National Socialism, Germany thus ironically became a temporary home for a large population of andquot;foreigners.andquot; Focusing on Bavaria, in the heart of the American occupation zone, Between National Socialism and Soviet Communism examines the cultural and political worlds that four groups of displaced persons---Polish, Ukrainian, Russian, and Jewish---created in Germany during the late 1940s and early 1950s. The volume investigates the development of refugee communities and how divergent interpretations of National Socialism and Soviet Communism defined these displaced groups.
Combining German and eastern European history, Anna Holian draws on a rich array of sources in cultural and political history and engages the broader literature on displacement in the fields of anthropology, sociology, political theory, and cultural studies. Her book will interest students and scholars of German, eastern European, and Jewish history; migration and refugees; and human rights.
A pioneering exploration of the origins of German Christian Democracy in the context of 19th- and 20th-century politics and religion
This book is a pioneering contribution to the history of the founding of the West German political system after the Second World War. The political cooperation between Catholics and Protestants that resulted in the formation of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in occupied and early West Germany represented a significant change from a long history of hostility in confessional relations. Given that the CDU went on to dominate politics in West Germany well into the 1960s, Maria D. Mitchell argues that an understanding of what made this interconfessional party possible is crucial to an exploration of German history in the postwar period. She examines the political history of party formation as well as the religious beliefs and motivations that shaped the party's philosophy and positions. She provides an authoritative guide to the complex processes of maneuvering and negotiation that produced the CDU during 1945-46. The full range of political possibilities is discussed, including the suppressed alternatives to the Adenauer/Erhard axis that eventually defined the party's trajectory during the 1950s and the abortive Christian Socialism associated with Jacob Kaiser.
About the Author
Kristin Kopp is Associate Professor of German and Director of Graduate Studies in German at the University of Missouri.