ASRC 1853

ASRC 1853

Course information provided by the Courses of Study 2020-2021.

In 1884 Germany took a lead role in the Berlin Conference, formalizing the 'Scramble for Africa'. Losing its colonies at the end of WWI, this interlude of German colonialism may appear brief. However, it left a long-lasting legacy for Germany's conceptions of race not least for the Nazi regime and ensuing Holocaust. The present course considers conceptions of race in modern Germany through an Africana Studies canon. Taking Aimé Césaire's theoretical framework as its starting point, the course deploys a cultural history approach to consider three main topics/eras. The first concerns questions of mapping. We examine this by reading the Berlin Conference in the context of emerging German ethnic expositions (Völkerschauen), where Theodor Michael's autobiography serves as our core cultural text. The second pertains to the re-appropriation of Germany's formal colonial past for Nazi propaganda. Here, we examine the early German colonialist, Carl Peters, whose biography featured as a central cinematographic propaganda source for Nazi Germany in 1941. Finally, we will discuss neo-colonial elements in contemporary German humanitarian politics, where we consider recruitment advertisement produced by the German army in juxtaposition with Post-Development arguments.

When Offered Fall.

Satisfies Requirement First-Year Writing Seminar.

View Enrollment Information

Enrollment Information
Syllabi: none
  •   FWS Session. 

  • 3 Credits Graded

  • 18774ASRC 1853  SEM 101

  • Instruction Mode: In Person Transition to Online
    For more information about First-Year Writing Seminars, see the Knight Institute website at
    Enrollment limited to students who are able to attend in-person classes in the Ithaca area.