In the last decades of the nineteenth century Germany made the move towards colonialism, with the first German protectorates in Africa. At the same time, Germany was undergoing the transformation to a mass consumer society. As Ciarlo shows, these developments grew along with one another, as the earliest practices of advertising drew legitimacy from the colonial project, and around the turn of the century, commercial imagery spread colonial visions to a mass audience. Arguing that visual commercial culture was both reflective and constitutive of changing colonial relations and of racial hierarchies, Advertising Empire constructs what one might call a genealogy of black bodies in German advertising. At the core of the manuscript is the identification of visual tropes associated with black bodies in German commercial culture, ranging from colonial and ethnographic exhibits, to poster art, to advertising. Stereotypical images of black bodies in advertising coalesced, the manuscript argues, in the aftermath of uprisings against German colonial power in Southwest and East Africa in the early 20th century. As Advertising Empire shows for Germany, commercial imagery of racialized power relations simplified the complexities of colonial power relations. It enshrined the inferiority of blacks as compared to whites as one key image associated with the birth of mass consumer society.
With the rise of imperialism, the centuries-old European tradition of humanist scholarship as the key to understanding the world was jeopardized. Nowhere was this more true than in nineteenth-century Germany. It was there, Andrew Zimmerman argues, that the battle lines of today's "culture wars" were first drawn when anthropology challenged humanism as a basis for human scientific knowledge.
Drawing on sources ranging from scientific papers and government correspondence to photographs, pamphlets, and police reports of "freak shows," Zimmerman demonstrates how German imperialism opened the door to antihumanism. As Germans interacted more frequently with peoples and objects from far-flung cultures, they were forced to reevaluate not just those peoples, but also the construction of German identity itself. Anthropologists successfully argued that their discipline addressed these issues more productively—and more accessibly—than humanistic studies.
Scholars of anthropology, European and intellectual history, museum studies, the history of science, popular culture, and colonial studies will welcome this book.
Cities, Sin, and Social Reform in Imperial Germany breaks new ground in the history of social thought and action in Imperial Germany, focusing on socially liberal efforts to counteract perceived problems in the area of moral behavior.
Thematically and methodologically wide-ranging and innovative, this volume considers a broad spectrum of responses not only to the supposed breakdown of social cohesion but also to specific forms of deviant behavior. It draws on large numbers of writings from the period by clergymen, jurists, medical doctors, educators, social workers, and others. This literature illuminates the histories not only of urbanization and cities but also of sexuality and Christianity, crime and criminology, leisure and education, youth and women, charity and social work, and the welfare state as well as local government.
Focusing on positive instead of escapist responses to the challenges that inhered in urban society, this work can be read as part of an ongoing reassessment of the German Empire that points away from the idea that Germans were traveling an antimodernist Sonderweg, or special path, that led inevitably to National Socialism and the Third Reich. Although intended primarily for scholars and students of modern Germany, this book should speak to a variety of readers, among them anyone who cares about the history of cities, deviant behavior, or social reform.
Andrew Lees is Professor of History, Rutgers University.
Colonialism, Antisemitism, and Germans of Jewish Descent in Imperial Germany examines the relationship between the colonial and antisemitic movements of modern Germany from 1871 to 1918, examining the complicated ways in which German antisemitism and colonialism fed off of and into each other in the decades before the First World War. Author Christian S. Davis studies the significant involvement with and investment in German colonialism by the major antisemitic political parties and extra-parliamentary organizations of the day, while also investigating the prominent participation in the colonial movement of Jews and Germans of Jewish descent and their tense relationship with procolonial antisemites.
Working from the premise that the rise and propagation of racial antisemitism in late-nineteenth-century Germany cannot be separated from the context of colonial empire, Colonialism, Antisemitism, and Germans of Jewish Descent in Imperial Germany is the first work to study the dynamic and evolving interrelationship of the colonial and antisemitic movements of the Kaiserreich era. It shows how individuals and organizations who originated what would later become the ideological core of National Socialism---racial antisemitism---both influenced and perceived the development of a German colonial empire predicated on racial subjugation. It also examines how colonialism affected the contemporaneous German antisemitic movement, dividing it over whether participation in the nationalist project of empire building could furnish patriotic credentials to even Germans of Jewish descent. The book builds upon the recent upsurge of interest among historians of modern Germany in the domestic impact and character of German colonialism, and on the continuing fascination with the racialization of the German sense of self that became so important to German history in the twentieth century.
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the Saar river valley was one of the three most productive heavy industrial regions in Germany and one of the main reference points for national debates over the organization of work in large-scale industry. Among Germany's leading opponents of trade unions, Saar employers were revered for their system of factory organization, which was both authoritarian and paternalistic, stressing discipline and punitive measures and seeking to regulate behavior on and off the job. In its repressive and beneficent dimensions, the Saar system provided a model for state labor and welfare policy during much of the 1880s and 1890s.
Dennis Sweeney examines the relationship between labor relations in heavy industry and public life in the Saar as a means of tracing some of the wider political-ideological changes of the era. Focusing on the changing discourses, representations, and institutions that gave shape and meaning to factory work and labor conflict in the Saar, Work, Race, and the Emergence of Radical Right Corporatism in Imperial Germany demonstrates the ways in which Saar factory culture and labor relations were constituted in wider fields of public discourse and anchored in the institutions of the local-regional public sphere and the German state. Of particular importance is the gradual transition in the Saar from a paternalistic workplace to a corporatist factory regime, a change that brought with it an authoritarian vision that ultimately converged with core elements in the ideological discourses of the German radical Right, including the National Socialists. This volume will be of interest to scholars and students of labor, industrial organization, ideology and political culture, and the genealogies of Nazism.
Dennis Sweeney is Associate Professor of History at the University of Alberta.
"The author makes a very insightful argument about the emergence of a kind of scientific racism within the new corporatism, one that brings biopolitics into German industry prior to the rise of National Socialism. This book will be an important contribution to the history of Imperial Germany, and has much potential to appeal to audiences in other fields of history."
---Andrew Zimmerman, George Washington University