What Is Asian-German Studies?
This volume presents a collection of essays from the emerging field of Asian-German studies, highlighting analyses of the role of “Asia” in Germany's cultural history from the late eighteenth century to the present. One of the tasks of this volume is to explore the meaning of Asia both as a sign of difference and as a historical place. To that end, scholars represented here undertake critical studies of the history of orientalism, showing regional differences and historical changes to the way Asia is constructed in texts and images. Just as important, scholars here are also creating models for understanding Asian-German transnational spaces, in which philosophical ideas and cultural representations circulate continuously and in which established hierarchies of influence are undermined. One fundamental assumption underlying these essays is that the categories “German” and “Asian” are not understood as homogeneous categories; rather the authors here engage in explorations into the specific production of cultural identities through a variety of representational forms.
Over the last few decades, colonial and postcolonial studies have investigated the important role that the non-European other played in defining “the national” via European metropoles. German studies has slowly followed suit since the early 1990s, first with studies on the role of German colonialism as a historical phenomenon, then with studies on colonialism and orientalism as pervasive ideologies that preceded or outlived the short colonial period of Wilhelminian Germany.
- Imagining Germany Imagining AsiaEssays in Asian-German Studies, pp. 1 - 14Publisher: Boydell & BrewerPrint publication year: 2013