History Book Club Presents Adam A. Blackler (PhD '17)
About the book
An Imperial Homeland: Forging German Identity in Southwest Africa
(Penn State University Press, October 2022)
At the turn of the twentieth century, depictions of the colonized world were prevalent throughout the German metropole. Tobacco advertisements catered to the erotic gaze of imperial enthusiasts with images of Ovaherero girls, and youth magazines allowed children to escape into “exotic domains” where their imaginations could wander freely. While racist beliefs framed such narratives, the abundance of colonial imaginaries nevertheless compelled German citizens and settlers to contemplate the world beyond Europe as a part of their daily lives.
An Imperial Homeland reorients our understanding of the relationship between imperial Germany and its empire in Southwest Africa (present-day Namibia). Colonialism had an especially significant effect on shared interpretations of the Heimat (home/homeland) ideal, a historically elusive perception that conveyed among Germans a sense of place through national peculiarities and local landmarks. Focusing on colonial encounters that took place between 1842 and 1915, Adam A. Blackler reveals how Africans confronted foreign rule and altered German national identity. Read more about An Imperial Homeland: Forging German Identity in Southwest Africa.
About the speakers
Adam A. Blackler
Adam A. Blackler (PhD ‘17) is an assistant professor of history at the University of Wyoming. He is a historian of modern Germany and southern Africa, whose research emphasizes the transnational dimensions of imperial occupation and settler-colonial violence in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. His scholarly and teaching interests also include the political and social dynamics of Germany’s Weimar Republic and the interdisciplinary fields of holocaust & genocide Studies and international human rights.
His most recent publications include a co-edited anthology, titled After the Imperialist Imagination: Two Decades of Research on Global Germany and Its Legacies, and a chapter in the multi-volume collection, A Cultural History of Genocide.
Dr. Blackler is researching a book project exploring the vibrant topography of Berlin’s parks, market squares, streets, and municipal districts before and during the Weimar Republic.
Eric Roubinek (PhD ‘14) is associate professor of history at UNC Asheville. A historian of modern Germany and comparative fascism, his research focuses on the intersections of the national and transnational within the broader matrix of European imperialism. His research and teaching interests also include historical memory studies and genocide and human rights.
His most recent publications include a co-edited volume of Radical History Review on “Fascism and Anti-Fascism Since 1945,” and a chapter in the volume Nazi Occupied Europe.
At present, he is completing a monograph on the collaboration between Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy in planning an African empire, a process through which fascism negotiated a new understanding of race and nation. He also is co-authoring an article on the creation and politicization of a national dress for German women during the 18th and 19th centuries.