Zwischen Abenteuer, Wissenschaft und Kolonialismus. Der deutsche Afrikadiskurs im 18. und 19. Jahrhundert

Köln: Böhlau Verlag 2005
301 pp., Euro 34.90; ISBN 3-412-19105-1

Between adventure, science, and colonialism. The German discourse on Africa in the 18th and 19th centuries
The book has three parts: Africa in 18th century texts; the developing discourse on Africa in the 19th century based on travel accounts of German scholars; and the circulation of this discourse towards the end of the 19th century. Fässler sees German colonialism as a formative force for the German national state emerging in the late 19th century. From this perspective the book describes preconditions of the 18th century up to the point of acquiring colonies by the German empire, showing that various representations of Africa in travelogues, literature, exhibitions, museums, and in anthropology led to the emergence of political and scientific arguments for colonial claims. The author thus shows the emergence of a national identity as well as anthropology becoming a university discipline in relation to the Africa discourse.

Keywords: Africa discourse, colonialism, anthropology and colonialism, German empire and colonialism, discourse on Africa