Imagining Blackness in Germany and Austria by Charlotte Szilagyi

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Imagining Blackness in Germany and Austria offers a breadth of fresh and provocative perspectives on the ways that blackness has been configured and instrumentalized in cultural productions from around the modern German-speaking world. The essays collected here examine material ranging from eighteenth-century literary and philosophical landmarks, to Viennese modernist art; from colonial missionary literature, to twentieth-century sculpture, film, and music; from National Socialist ideology, to Leftist counterdiscourse. Spanning a range of literary, visual, and theoretical discourses, these essays identify crucial moments within radical paradigm shifts in the ways the concept of blackness has been employed by European intellectuals. One shift can be observed within the notion of blackness itself, which progresses from a state that precedes political articulation, to one that is negotiated discursively. Another shift sees conservative notions of race give way to a recodification of blackness as American rather than African. In this way, blackness becomes linked to the advent of a hegemonic power. A further shift can be discerned in the ways nationalist discourses of colonial supremacy and of an impending darkening of Europe progress toward the perception of blackness as an entry-point into the cultural complex known as Amerika, into mass culture, and into European modernity itself. With an introduction by Werner Sollors, this collection provides valuable, compelling, and timely material and insight for scholars and students interested in modern German-speaking culture, African American and African Diaspora studies, and their intersections.

About Charlotte Szilagyi

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Published December 15, 2012 by Cambridge Scholars Publishing. 198 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference, Arts & Photography.