29 May 2013

Creating Germans in Africa

In the most recent edition of European Education, we featured four papers about the export of European education to places around the world. One of these comes from Daniel J. Walther. He is the Gerald R. Kleinfeld Distinguished Professor in German History at Wartburg College. He is also the author of the book Creating Germans Abroad: Cultural Policies and National Identity in Namibia and several articles on the German experience in Namibia and on German colonialism. He is currently working on a study of the interplay between the medical profession and indigenous agency within the context of venereal diseases and prostitution. His paper in our journal is entitled "Creating Germans Abroad: White Education and the Colonial Condition in German Southwest Africa, 1894–1914." The abstract of the paper is provided below. If it looks like something that you would like to read, please follow this link to find out more about subscriptions.

Creating Germans Abroad: White Education and the Colonial Condition in German Southwest Africa, 1894–1914
From the perspective of German colonial supporters and authorities, appropriate white education in the settler colony of Southwest Africa (SWA) was essential for maintaining German hegemony in the territory. In order to reach this objective, the German colonial administration in SWA, with assistance from pedagogues and institutions in Germany, embarked upon a program to turn the colony’s white youth into productive and loyal members of the German Empire. The educational policies pursued provide a lens to explore how colonial enthusiasts defined what it meant to be German. However, this image and the policies intended to create it did not exist in isolation. Other populations, colonial economics, and geography resulted in a German educational system that could not be exactly replicated in SWA. Thus, a system and ultimately a population emerged that were shaped by both German educational philosophies and colonial exigencies.

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