While cultural diversity and hybridity have often been celebrated, they also challenge traditional concepts of national and cultural identity – challenges which have caused considerable anxiety. Various disciplines have often investigated the impact of cultural hybridity, multiculture, and (post)colonialism in relative isolation and with a tendency towards over-theorization and loss of specificity. Greater interdisciplinary cooperation can counter this tendency and encourage sustained comparisons between different former empires and across language boundaries.
This volume contributes to such developments by combining contributions from history, English and German studies, cultural geography, theatre studies, and film studies; by covering both the colonial and the postcolonial period; and by looking comparatively at two different (post)colonial contexts: the United Kingdom and Germany.
The result is productive dialogue across the distinct colonial and migration histories of the UK and Germany, which brings out divergent concepts of cultural difference – but, importantly, without neglecting similarities and transnational developments. The interdisciplinary outlook extends beyond political definitions of identity and difference to include consumer culture, literature, film, and journalism – cultural and social practices that construct, represent, and reflect personal and collective identities.
Section I discusses the historical and contemporary role of colonial experience and its remembrance in the construction of national identities. Section II follows on by tracing the reflections of (post)coloniality and twentieth-century migration in the specific fields of economic history and consumer culture. Section III centres on recent debates about multiculture and national/cultural identity in politics, literature, and film.
Ulrike Lindner is a lecturer in global and transnational history at the University of Bielefeld. Maren Möhring lectures in modern and contemporary history at the University of Cologne. Mark Stein is Chair of English, Postcolonial and Media Studies and Head of the Department of English at the University of Münster. Silke Stroh is assistant professor of English, Postcolonial and Media Studies at the University of Münster.
”Hybrid Cultures - Nervous States provides a timely and challenging theoretical and empirical space for re-mapping European imperialism(s) as a transnational event, and for a comparative analysis of the multiple and diverse postcolonialisms that have developed out of it.” - Carla Sassi, Università di Verona, Italy, in: The European English Messenger 22.1 (2013), pp. 85-6
List of Illustrations
Ulrike Lindner, Maren Möhring, Mark Stein, and Silke Stroh: Introduction
Sara Lennox: From Postcolonial to Transnational Approaches in German Studies
(Post)Colonial Identifications, Colonial Traditions, and Cultures of Memory
Ulrike Lindner: Encounters Over the Border: The Shaping of Colonial Identities in Neighbouring British and German Colonies in Southern Africa
Michael Pesek: The Colonial Order Upside Down? British and Germans in East African Prisoner-of-War Camps During World War I
Eva Bischoff: Jack, Peter and the Beast: Postcolonial Perspectives on Sexual Murder and the Construction of White Masculinity in Britain and Germany at the Turn of the Twentieth Century
Joachim Zeller: Decolonization of the Public Space? (Post)Colonial Culture of Remembrance in Germany
Elizabeth Buettner: “Setting the Record Straight”?: Imperial History in Postcolonial British Public Culture
(Trans)National Consumer Cultures: From ‘Kolonialwaren’ to ‘Ethnic Cuisine’
Laura Julia Rischbieter: (Trans)National Consumer Cultures: Coffee as a Colonial Product in the German Empire
Christine Vogt–William: Transcultural Tea Times: An Overview of Tea in Colonial History
Maren Möhring: Döner Kebab and West German Consumer (Multi-)Cultures
Peter Jackson: A Cultural Politics of Curry: The Transnational Spaces of Contemporary Commodity Culture
Multiculturalism Failed? Cultural Difference and the Debates on National Belonging
Maureen Maisha Eggers: Knowledges of (Un)Belonging: Epistemic Change as a Defining Mode for Black Women’s Activism in Germany
Deirdre Osborne: “I ain’t British though / Yes you are. You’re as English as I am”: Staging Belonging and Unbelonging in Black British Drama Today
Silke Stroh: Muslims, the Discourse on (Failed) Integration in Britain, and Kenneth Glenaan’s Film Yasmin
Markus Schmitz: The Current Spectacle of Integration in Germany: Spatiality, Gender, and the Boundaries of the National Gaze
Notes on Editors and Contributors