University of Sussex
Schäfer, Corinna.pdf (5.21 MB)

The German colonial settler press in Africa, 1898-1916: a web of identities, spaces and infrastructure

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posted on 2023-06-09, 09:34 authored by Corinna Schäfer
As the first comprehensive work on the German colonial settler newspapers in Africa between 1898 and 1916, this research project explores the development of the settler press, its networks and infrastructure, its contribution to the construction of identities, as well as to the imagination and creation of colonial space. Special attention is given to the newspapers’ relation to Africans, to other imperial powers, and to the German homeland. The research contributes to the understanding of the history of the colonisers and their societies of origin, as well as to the history of the places and people colonised. This work furthermore makes a contribution to the field of media history regarding a time and place in which significant transitions were taking place. By employing a Foucauldian dispositif analysis, which encompasses Critical Discourse Analysis as well as the reconstruction of knowledge inherent in objects, a contribution is made to the development of methodology in the field. This project demonstrates that the German colonial settler press functioned as a precarious, yet forceful web that was shaped by discourse, infrastructures and laws, as well as contributed to shaping these elements. The newspapers supported the settlers in pursuing their objective of Kulturarbeit as the transformation of land and people of the colonies according to racist principles in order to gain profit and to build a new German Heimat. The settler press played an important role in maintaining German national identities as well as developing specific settler identities. The discursive construction of settlers as victims of the colonised served as legitimisation of the violence inherent to colonial relations. Africans developed multiple techniques of intervention into colonial projects and created their own spaces. I argue that the German colonial settler press significantly contributed to shaping the colonial space as well as to creating notions of Germanness.


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  • Media and Film Theses

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  • doctoral

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  • phd


  • eng


University of Sussex

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