Imagining Germany Imagining Asia

October 2013
13 black and white illustrations
288 pages
9x6 in
Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture
ISBN: 9781571135483
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Camden House
BISAC LIT004170, LIT008000, HIS014000

Imagining Germany Imagining Asia

Essays in Asian-German Studies

Edited by Veronika Fuechtner, Mary Rhiel

This collection of new essays explores how Germany's imagined Asia informed its national fantasies at crucial historical junctures. It will influence future scholarly explorations of Asian-German cultural transfer.

The first collection of essays in the new field of Asian-German Studies, Imagining Germany Imagining Asia demonstrates that Germany and Asia have always shared cultural spaces. Indeed, since the time of the German Enlightenment, Asia served as the foil for fantasies of sexuality, escape, danger, competition, and racial and spiritual purity that were central to foundational ideas of a cohesive German national culture during crucial historical junctures such as fascism or reunification. By exploring the complex and varied phenomenon of German "Orientalism," these essays argue that the relation between an imagined Germany and an imagined Asia defies the idea of a one-way influence, instead conceiving of their cultural transfers and synergies as multidirectional and mutually perpetuating. Examining literary and non-literary texts from the eighteenth century to the present, these essays cover a wide range of topics and genres in disciplines including philosophy, film and visual culture, theater, literary studies, and the history of science. Ideally positioned to shape further contributions, Imagining Germany Imagining Asia will attract a wide range of readers interested in German, Asian, colonial, postcolonial, and transnational studies.

Contributors: Sai Bhatawadekar, Petra Fachinger, Veronika Fuechtner, Randall Halle, David D. Kim, Hoi-eun Kim, Kamakshi Murti, Perry Myers, Mary Rhiel, Qinna Shen, Quinn Slobodian, Chunjie Zhang

Veronika Fuechtner is Associate Professor of German at Dartmouth College. Mary Rhiel is Associate Professor of German at the University of New Hampshire.

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Table of Contents

East-West Globality and the European Mode of Film Production
Citizenship-Shifting: Race and Xing-Hu Kuo's Claim on East German Memory
Narratives of Transnational Divide: The Vietnamese in Contemporary German Literature and Film
Factories on the Magic Carpet: Heimat, Globalization, and the "Yellow Peril" in Die Chinesen kommen and Losers and Winners
Germany's India: A Critical Re-interrogation
Indians, Jews, and Sex: Magnus Hirschfeld and Indian Sexology
The Ambivalence of a Spiritual Quest in India: Waldemar Bonsels's Indienfahrt
Traveling through Imperialism: Representational Crisis and Resolution in Elisabeth von Heyking's and Alfons Paquet's Travel Writing on China
Measuring Asian-ness: Erwin Baelz's Anthropological Expeditions in Fin-de-Siècle Korea
The Tat Tvam Asi Formula and Schopenhauer's "Deductive Leap"
German Indophilia, Femininity, and Transcultural Symbiosis around 1800
Reading Genji in German: Reflections on World Literature and Asian-German Studies
Notes on the Contributors


[A] well-edited volume and a welcome addition to scholarship. [Its] tripartite structure aids the conceptual cohesion of its widely varying essays. Most pleasing was perhaps the insight that it is not only material produced during our own self-proclaimed age of globalization, but also texts from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, that appear to challenge those simplistic occidental-oriental dualisms we would all do well to dispense with. MODERN LANGUAGE REVIEW [James Hodkinson]

[The editors of this volume] stake [its] claim as the first collection of essays in the emerging field of Asian German studies. It offers new insights into the particularities of the Asian German experience and draws attention to the heterogeneity of the categories of German and Asian at different times and in different geographical locations. . . . The essays . . . model possible theoretical approaches and potential topics; in this sense, this accessible volume functions as a good introduction to the field. Recommended. CHOICE

Presenting a welcome example of interdisciplinary and transnational research, this volume brings together a dozen scholarly essays that examine German visions of Asia as reflected in filmic, literary, philosophical, sociological, and anthropological texts. As such, this volume provides insights into an area of recent development in German studies in the United States by offering a wide thematic scope of research and scholarship in the field of Asian-German studies. . . . The breadth of the thematic fields investigated is another admirable strength of the volume. . . . [S]erves as a fine example for the range and complexity of scholarship in Asian-German studies in the United States and thus makes a valuable contribution to the field of German studies. MONATSHEFTE

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