Savage Worlds? German Understandings of Non-European Peoples, 1815-1918
“Darum dürfen wir die Wildniß nicht verachten, ihre Bewohner nicht Heiden und Cannibalen schimpfen und selber thun als ob wir etwas ganz Besonderes wären.“
With these words, Friedrich Gerstäcker used his 1855 article ‘Civilisation und Wildniß’ in Die Gartenlaube to call upon Germans to think twice about their assumptions of precisely who was civilised and who was not. This seeming sensitivity towards the plight of indigenous people notwithstanding, other Germans continued to describe, categorise and plan uses for the peoples they encountered in the global south in a range of ways.
With a view to mapping the wide range of German responses to non-European peoples, this conference will examine the encounters of German explorers, settlers, travellers, missionaries, merchants, academics, state officials and colonists with indigenous peoples. Historians and scholars in neighbouring disciplines are invited to submit offers of papers dealing with the general theme of German interactions and engagements with non-European populations in Australia, the Asia-Pacific, the Americas and Africa. Papers may examine developments prior to or during the formal German empire, whether inside the empire or in other regions of the world. They may examine official policy or focus on the roles of various representatives of German civil society in their interactions with indigenous populations. Comparative international studies are encouraged, as are contributions which combine historical methodologies with those of such disciplines as anthropology, geography or cultural studies.
Dates: June 29 to July 1, 2015
Host Institute: School of International Studies, Flinders University
Conference Location: Flinders University City Campus, Adelaide, Australia
Abstracts of not more than 150 words and bios of not more than 100 words should be sent to the conference organizers Matthew Fitzpatrick and Peter Monteath by 27 February 2015.
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