Mobilizing the Archive in Support of Colonialism during the Kaiserreich

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This paper examines how, at the end of the nineteenth century, the German General Staff published archival material about the history of Brandenburg/Prussia?s early modern East Indian and African trading companies in order to garner public support for the Kaiserreich?s new colonial expeditions. The memory of past overseas ventures was mobilized for the sake of creating an historical narrative claiming that Germany had tried to create a colonial empire already in the seventeenth century. This one German example demonstrates how the maintenance and regulation of archives allows states to construct ideological narratives in support of national policy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-233
Number of pages15
JournalSeminar - A Journal of Germanic Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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