Historical research has recently found new interest in aviation and aeromobilities. Though productive, these discussions have mostly concentrated on knowledge frames emanating from the 'West.' This article surveys the limited range of literatures that highlight how 'other' societies perceive and (re)appropriate flight. In particular, we refer to examples from Asia to demonstrate that actors from this region likewise interact with ideas of aerial imperialism, geopolitical struggles, and nationalism. These studies prompt key historiographical questions on power, agency, and relations between the West and the non-West. They also promote a scholarship that is more reflexive about its centers of knowledge.
Marielle Stigum Gleiss and Weiqiang Lin
Few scholars today question the binary relationship between imperialism and violence, and French historians are no exception. In recent years, a multitude of studies have appeared concerning the violence inherent in the conquest of the nineteenth-century Gallic empire, the maintenance and defense of the colonial system, and the decolonization process—massacres and torture during the Algerian War, for example. Such works often reflect Etienne Balibar’s definition of “structural violence”: an essential component of a repressive system, maintaining unequal social relations while defending “the interests, power positions, and forms of social domination.”1 This hegemony took various guises at different times throughout the history of French imperialism, operating in tandem with assaults on the indigènes (the term adopted by the authorities for natives). It could involve surveillance and intelligence gathering, security forces, and judicial-penal institutions employed to harass and control the colonized. Yet it also resulted from the forced pacification of native peoples (Alice Conklin refers to this policy as an “act of state-sanctioned violence”) and the imposition of the indigénat—the loose collection of rules that granted extraordinary police and disciplinary powers to the colonial administration, along with the imposition of forced labor and taxation.2 The ultimate defense of this system, and indeed its brutal apogee, emerged during the wars of decolonization, in which tens of thousands of the colonized were killed in Algeria and Indochina, while countless others were subjected to torture and incarceration.
Eva Hahn and Hans Henning Hahn, Die Vertreibung im deutschen Erinnern: Legenden, Mythos, Geschichte (Paderborn: Ferdinand Schöningh, 2010)
Reviewed by Michael Ennis
Katherine Pratt Ewing, Stolen Honor: Stigmatizing Muslim Men in Berlin (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2008)
Reviewed by Julia Woesthoff
Shelley Baranowski, Nazi Empire: German Colonialism and Imperialism from Bismarck to Hitler (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011)
Reviewed by Daniel J. Walther
Andrew Beckford, Fallen Elites: The Military Other in Post-Unification Germany (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2011)
Reviewed by Dale Herspring
Annemarie H. Sammartino, The Impossible Border: Germany and the East, 1914-1922 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2010)
Reviewed by Catherine Epstein
Charles Lansing, From Nazism to Communism: German Schoolteacher under Two Dictatorships (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2010)
Reviewed by Catherine Plum
French Discussions of French and German Politics, Culture, and Colonialism in the Deliberations of the Union for Truth, 1905–1913
Jean Elisabeth Pedersen
This article explores the ways in which French intellectuals understood the changing and intersecting relationships between France and Germany, France and Alsace-Lorraine, and France and Africa during the early twentieth-century expansion of the French empire. The body of the text analyzes the interdisciplinary discussions of Paul Desjardins, Charles Gide, and their academic and activist colleagues at the Union pour la vérité (Union for Truth) and its Libres entretiens (Open Conversations) in the immediate aftermath of the First and Second Moroccan Crises. Focusing on the Union's 1905–1906 and 1912–1913 debates over the issues of nationalism, internationalism, imperialism, and colonization provides a new understanding of the relationship between French national identity and French imperial identity. The conclusion explains how and why this group of largely progressive French political analysts simultaneously rejected German expansion into France and justified French expansion across the African continent.
Representing the Self, “the Other,“ and Rival Empires in the English and French Illustrated Press, 1880-1905
H. Hazel Hahn
The English and French illustrated press between 1880 and 1905 depicted Europeans as superior to non-Europeans and rarely questioned the colonizing right of Europeans. The illustrated press, such as news magazines The Illustrated London News, The Graphic, and L'Illustration, as well as the newspaper Le Petit Journal, was consumed by colonial news, reported as a series of crises, battles, and frontier troubles, and represented colonial officers and soldiers as heroes. However, a series of imperial rivalries increasingly undermined any collective “European“ understanding of the imperial mission. By implicitly and explicitly questioning and criticizing other empires' motives and capacity for colonization, the press came to portray colonization as a power dynamic. Heroism was increasingly tied to nationalism rather than to broader moral principles. The rhetoric and imagery of imperialism were thus fraught with paradoxes and double standards. The press coverage also reveals close links between war and tourism imaginaries.
Postcolonial Intersections. Asia on the Move
Mayurakshi Chaudhuri and Viola Thimm
The past decade has witnessed an exponential growth in literature on the diverse forms, practices, and politics of mobility. Research on migration has been at the forefront of this field. Themes in this respect include heterogeneous practices that have developed out of traditions of resistance to a global historical trajectory of imperialism and colonialism. In response to such historical transformations of recent decades, the nature of postcolonial inquiry has evolved. Such changing postcolonial trajectories and power negotiations are more pronounced in specific parts of the world than in others. To that end, “Postcolonial Intersections: Asia on the Move” is a special section that engages, examines, and analyzes everyday power negotiations, focusing particularly on Asia. Such everyday negotiations explicitly point to pressure points and movements across multiple geosocial scales where gender, religion, age, social class, and caste, to name a few, are constantly negotiated and redefined via changing subjectivities.
Kinship, State and Social Media Conflict in Networked Jordan
The local uptake of new media in the Middle East is shaped by deep histories of imperialism, state building, resistance and accommodation. In contemporary Jordan, social media is simultaneously encouraging identification with tribes and undermining their gerontocratic power structures. Senior men stress their own importance as guarantors (‘faces’), who restore order following conflicts, promising to pay their rivals a large surety if their kin break the truce. Yet, ‘cutting the face’ (breaking truces) remains an alternative, one often facilitated by new technologies that allow people to challenge pre-existing structures of communication and authority. However, the experiences of journalists and other social media mavens suggest that the liberatory promise of the new technology may not be enough to prevent its reintegration into older patterns of social control.
A Re-Evaluation of The Color Curtain
The Color Curtain reflects Richard Wright's problematical assessment of the 1955 Bandung Conference and his difficult attempts to reconcile his sincere denunciation of the consequences of colonialism and racism on people of Asian and African descent with his condescending representation of Third World nationalism during the middle of the twentieth century. The book reveals striking paradoxes in Wright's evaluation of a nationalism that he occasionally vilifies as an ideology that was grounded on impassioned and essentialist cultural or religious affiliations and feelings. Yet Wright's demeaning, elitist, and patronizing attitudes about Third World nationalism and cultures did not prevent him from identifying with the core spirit of the Bandung Conference. In his assessment of the summit, Wright occasionally reveals his admiration for a Third World nationalism that echoed his disparagement of Western racism and imperialism.
Michael A. Di Giovine
The Early Modern era was an age of exploration and discovery: travelers dis covered foreign lands as well as themselves. In addition to being filled with titillating tales of the baroque and the bizarre, the narratives they produced also serve as keys to understanding the birth of the modern world system by representing and motivating European imperialism and proto-nationalism—often through the ways in which the individual writer fashions himself in relation to the Others he encounters. Travel Narratives from the Age of Discovery: An Anthology, edited by Peter C. Mancall, and Nathalie Hester's Literature and Identity in Italian Baroque Travel Writing, provide detailed looks into the age of exploration, modern travel writing, and its effects on the explorer's identity claims.
The production of models, narratives or ‘visions’ of the 1930s, as with any other periodising, involves processes of selection and rejection, inclusion and exclusion. It is a matter of no small interest that one of the most significant areas of exclusion from such paradigms has been the Empire. This article points to, but hardly constitutes a rectification of, that situation. Rather than any attempt at ‘the big picture’, in its allotted space it offers more in the way of a thumbnail sketch, but one which aims at something like a symptomatic relevance in its juxtaposition of two areas of textual production to give a sense of the ideological and political struggles taking place via the various envisionings and revisionings of imperialism in this period.