German colonialisms: German hybrid identity formations overseas




Whitney, Melissa Sue Romweber

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This dissertation deals with three levels of colonialism: 1. National Colonialism, which represents a national government that colonizes an entire or substantial part of a nation, as represented by the case study of Germany's colony in Samoa; 2. Regional Colonialism, which represents a group of people who colonize a region, as represented by the case study of the Adelsverein colony in Fredericksburg, Texas; and 3. Individual Colonialism, which represents an individual who colonizes an individual location, as represented by the case studies of Maria von Blücher in Corpus Christi and Franz Henrich Spellmann in Yorktown. Each level of colonization is broken down into sublevels that deal with class issues, such as upper-class colonialism, middle-class colonialism, and working-class colonialism. I demonstrate that the binaries between the dominant and the subaltern/limited subject position are not always as clear cut as they appear, especially among German colonizers. While each level of colonization represents just one small process in the larger scheme of establishing hegemony, colonization is not only a two-fold process that affects and transforms the colonizer and the colonized, but also a dialectical relationship. Further, the four case studies in this dissertation give voice to so many different aspects of colonization that it broadens our understanding of the term "to colonize" to include colonization by nature and by faith. Each case study interrogates the complexities of Germans as simultaneously immigrants and colonizers as well as their hybrid identity formation of a European mestizo or Mischlingskultur.


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Colonialism, German, identity, settlers, South Pacific, Texas