Pursuing whiteness in the colonies : private memories from the Congo Free State and German East Africa (1884-1914)
Title: Pursuing whiteness in the colonies : private memories from the Congo Free State and German East Africa (1884-1914)
Author: NATERMANN, Diana M.
Citation: Münster : Waxmann, 2018, Historische Belgienforschung ; 3
ISBN: 9783830936909; 9783830986904
Pursuing Whiteness in the Colonies offers a new comprehension of colonial history from below by taking remnants of individual agencies from a whiteness studies perspective. It highlights the experiences and perceptions of colonisers and how they portrayed and re-interpreted their identities in Africa. The transcolonial approach is based on egodocuments from Belgian, German and Swedish men and women who migrated to Central Africa for reasons like a love for adventure, social betterment, new gender roles, or the conviction that colonising was their patriotic duty. The author presents how colonisers constructed their whiteness in relation to the subalterns in everyday situations connected to friendship, animals, gender and food. White culture was often practiced to maintain the idea(l) of European supremacy, for example by upholding white dining cultures. The welcoming notion of ‘breaking bread’ was replaced by a dining culture that reinforced white identity and segregated white from non-white people. By combining colonial history with whiteness studies in an African setting the author provides a different understanding of imperial realities as they were experienced by colonisers in situ.
Table of Contents:
Introduction -- 1.1 The Importance and Influence of Cultural Whiteness -- 1.2 Why (these) Egodocuments? -- 1.3 Masculinities, Female Cultural Imperialism, Career Choices, and Food -- 1.4 History from Below, Archives, and Chapter Outlook -- 2) Imperial latecomers -- 2.1 How to Colonise? From the Berlin Conference to Central Africa -- 2.2 Implementation of Goals -- 2.3 Status Quo at the Outbreak of World War I -- 2.4 Conclusion -- 3) Friendship -- 3.1 Limits to Befriending -- 3.2 Different Shades of Friendship -- 3.3 Befriending the ‘White’ Dog -- 3.4 Conclusion -- 4) Masculine africa -- 4.1 Mono-Gender Central Africa -- 4.2 How Colonising Was a Matter of Honour, Loyalty, and Civilising -- 4.3 Pain? What Pain? Manly Illnesses -- 4.4 Conclusion -- 5) The white Bibi -- 5.1 Single Ladies -- 5.2 The Colonial Wife -- 5.3 New Woman vs Old Woman -- 5.4 Conclusion -- 6) EDIBLE IDENTITY -- 6.1 Sub-Saharan Foods -- 6.2 Proud European Dining Culture vs. Natural African Cuisine -- 6.3 Eating as if at Home -- 6.4 Conclusion -- 7) Results -- 8) List of colonial actors -- 8.1 Belgian Colonials -- 8.2 German Colonials -- 8.3 Swedish Colonials -- Maps -- Appendix -- List of abbreviations -- List of archives -- Bibliography
Initial version: http://hdl.handle.net/1814/37645
Version: Published version of EUI PhD thesis, 2015