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n Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa - Subalterne konnten sprechen
(Dis-)Positionen von AfrikanerInnen und Afro-Amerikanern in und zu Deutschland und Österreich des 19. Jahrhunderts
The subaltern could speak. (Dis-)positions of Africans and Afro-Americans in and towards Germany and Austria in the latter nineteenth century
This article analyses five rare voices of African and African American visitors to Germany and/or Austria between 1847 and 1897: Kwasi Boakye and Jabolëy Domëi from the Gold Coast, J.C. Nayo Bruce from Togo, Friedrich Maharero from former German Southwest Africa and W.E.B. Du Bois from the United States of America. Against the backdrop of Mary Louise Pratt's concept of contact zones between colonized and colonizers, Pierre Bourdieu's concept of social space and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak's question "Can the subaltern speak?" this paper investigates how these travellers' short texts represent the speakers' experiences with and relationships to the visited German and/or Austrian Other; which positions in the shared social space they occupied; what traces of a subject position and agency we can find; and how the speakers' positions vis-à-vis existing power structures shaped their dispositions vis-à-vis the cultures they visited.
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