Germany's Wild East

Constructing Poland as Colonial Space
Kristin Kopp
This examination of the elements of colonial relationships is new in paperback

Description

In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, representations of Poland and the Slavic East cast the region as a primitive, undeveloped, or empty space inhabited by a population destined to remain uncivilized without the aid of external intervention. These depictions often made direct reference to the American Wild West, portraying the eastern steppes as a boundless plain that needed to be wrested from the hands of unruly natives and spatially ordered into German-administrated units.  

While conventional definitions locate colonial space overseas, Kristin Kopp argues that it was possible to understand both distant continents and adjacent Eastern Europe as parts of the same global periphery dependent upon Western European civilizing efforts. However, proximity to the source of aid translated to greater benefits for Eastern Europe than for more distant regions.

“By focusing on what Kopp calls the ‘colonialization’ of the East, this book adds an essential piece to our understanding of German colonial ideology. This is important both for scholars of German culture and scholars of imperialism more broadly.” 
—Andrew Zimmerman, George Washington University

“An especially attractive and successful strategy employed by the author as she moves chapter by chapter is to have the focus shift between different kinds of sources, including the genre of ‘Eastern Marches novels,’ traditions in cartography traced in precise examples, and cinema. This gives compelling evidence of changes in the discourse she is tracking.” 
—Vejas Liulevicius, University of Tennessee
 
Kristin Kopp is Associate Professor of German and Director of Graduate Studies in German at the University of Missouri.

Praise / Awards

  • "By focusing on what Kopp calls the 'colonialization' of the East, this book adds an essential piece to our understanding of German colonial ideology. This is important both for scholars of German culture and scholars of imperialism more broadly."
    —Andrew Zimmerman, George Washington University

  • "An especially attractive and successful strategy employed by the author as she moves chapter by chapter is to have the focus shift between different kinds of sources, including the genre of 'Eastern Marches novels,' traditions in cartography traced in precise examples, and cinema. This gives compelling evidence of changes in the discourse she is tracking."
    —Vejas Liulevicius, University of Tennessee

  • "Kipp's well-written discussion of German literary, geographic, and film representations of Poland as the 'wild East' is a worthy addition to the monographic studies that enlarge conceptualization of 'the other'. A nuanced and convincing analysis of the ways Germans depicted Poland for two centuries."
     --Choice
  • "Kopp’s real achievement is the way in which she bridges two active areas of recent scholarship, one on colonial discourse in German culture and the other on the place of the East in the German spatial imagination, adding rich cultural analysis to the argument that German designs on Polish space are best understood as part of a colonial project. Kopp’s lively and engaging study makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the place of Poland within the history of colonialism, both in Germany and beyond."
    --German Studies Review
  • "I wish this book would be required reading in German and Polish Schools."
    --Sally Boss, The Sarmatian Review

Look Inside

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 270pp.
  • 33 B&W illustrations, 5 color plates.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Hardcover
  • 2012
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-11844-1

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  • $90.00 U.S.

  • Paper
  • 2017
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-03682-0

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  • $34.95 U.S.

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Keywords

  • German colonialism, German colonial discourse, German colonial literature, German-Polish relations, German representations of Poland/ Eastern Europe, German history in Poland/ Eastern Europe, German cartography, German expansionism, Geopoetics, Germans and the East

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