Transculturality and German Discourse in the Age of European Colonialism (Hardback)
  • Transculturality and German Discourse in the Age of European Colonialism (Hardback)

Transculturality and German Discourse in the Age of European Colonialism (Hardback)

Hardback 232 Pages / Published: 30/07/2017
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In Transculturality and German Discourse in the Age of European Colonialism, Chunjie Zhang delineates a transcultural discourse to highlight the influence of non-European cultures on German thinking in the polycentric global eighteenth century.

Zhang examines the South Pacific travel writings of George Forster and Adelbert von Chamisso, literary works by August von Kotzebue and Johann Joachim Campe, Herder's philosophy of history, and Kant's theory of geography from the perspective of non-European impact during the age of Europe's colonial expansion. She explores what these texts show about German and European superiority, the critique of the slave trade, European moral debauchery, acknowledgments of non-European cultural achievements, and sympathy with colonized peoples.

Moving beyond the question of empire or enlightenment, Zhang's book shifts from predominantly critiquing Eurocentrism toward diligently detecting global connections and enhancing the visibility of non-European contributions in global modernity.

Offering much to scholars of literature, culture, and intellectual history, Zhang's examination of the discordances in German transcultural discourse allows us to trace the divergent German, European, and non-European forces, desires, and ideas that collide, negotiate, and integrate in a key period of global modernity.

Publisher: Northwestern University Press
ISBN: 9780810134782
Number of pages: 232
Dimensions: 229 x 152 mm

"Zhang listens for the voices of non-European cultures in German writing about Asia to show how eighteenth-century intellectuals were learning from distant sources. Transculturality seeks to overcome the lopsided opposition between colonizer and colonized by acknowledging the importance of Pacific island culture in the Enlightenment's production of knowledge. This bold and controversial book engages the full arc of German representations of Asia from Leibniz to Kant while revising the established critiques of early modern travel writing." --Daniel Purdy, author of On the Ruins of Babel: Architectural Metaphor in German Thought
"[Zhang] seeks to move beyond the impasse of binary constructions common in this scholarship such as Enlightenment and empire or self and other, instead attending to non-European agency and 'reading from the other side, from outside Europe.'" --Goethe Yearbook

"The combination of texts that the author examines is both new and significant--they show that Germans had every hemisphere and global region on their minds. Zhang brings into focus the impact of non-European knowledge on German thinking." --Birgit Tautz, author of Reading and Seeing Ethnic Differences in the Enlightenment: From China to Africa

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