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Explorations and Entanglements: Germans in Pacific Worlds from the Early Modern Period to World War I

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Volume 22

Studies in German History

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Explorations and Entanglements

Germans in Pacific Worlds from the Early Modern Period to World War I

Edited by Hartmut Berghoff, Frank Biess, and Ulrike Strasser

334 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78920-028-7 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (November 2018)

eISBN 978-1-78920-029-4 eBook

Hb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook! $34.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“Given the numerous and diverse case studies that the individual chapters examine, it is to the credit of the volume’s authors and editors that discrete themes are nonetheless clearly traceable throughout the work, the most interesting of these being the myriad and sometimes surprising ways in which Germany’s status as a relative ‘latecomer’ to nationhood and imperial expansion actually served not as a liability but rather as an advantage for German agents and interests.” • German History

“This volume represents a bold intervention in Pacific and German historiographies, one that encourages us to rethink central concepts and assumptions. All of its contributions are interesting, well-substantiated, and conversant with transnational developments in both fields.” • Rainer Buschmann, California State University Channel Islands


Traditionally, Germany has been considered a minor player in Pacific history: its presence there was more limited than that of other European nations, and whereas its European rivals established themselves as imperial forces beginning in the early modern era, Germany did not seriously pursue colonialism until the nineteenth century. Yet thanks to recent advances in the field emphasizing transoceanic networks and cultural encounters, it is now possible to develop a more nuanced understanding of the history of Germans in the Pacific. The studies gathered here offer fascinating research into German missionary, commercial, scientific, and imperial activity against the backdrop of the Pacific’s overlapping cultural circuits and complex oceanic transits.

Hartmut Berghoff is Director of the Institute of Economic and Social History at the University of Göttingen in Germany. From 2008 to 2015, he was the director of the German Historical Institute in Washington, DC. He specializes in the histories of consumption, business, immigration, and modern Germany.

Frank Biess is Professor of Modern European History at the University of California-San Diego. His main areas of expertise are twentieth-century German history, the history of emotions, the history of wars and violence and their aftermaths, and transnational history.

Ulrike Strasser is Professor of Early Modern History at the University of California-San Diego. Her research focuses on early modern Central European history, religious history, gender and sexuality, early modern world history, and history and theory.

Subject: History: 18th/19th Century History: 20th Century to Present Colonial History
Area: Germany Asia-Pacific


List of Figures and Tables

Introduction: German Histories and Pacific Histories
Ulrike Strasser, Frank Biess, and Hartmut Berghoff


Chapter 1. German Apothecaries and Botanists in Early Modern Indonesia, the Philippines and Japan
Raquel A. G. Reyes

Chapter 2. A Bohemian Mapmaker in Manila: Travels, Transfers, and Traces between the Pacific Ocean and Germans Lands
Ulrike Strasser

Chapter 3. German Naturalists in the Pacific Around 1800: Entanglement, Autonomy, and a Transnational Culture of Expertise
Andreas W. Daum

Chapter 4. Georg Wilhelm Steller and Carl Heinrich Merck: German Scientists in Russian Service as Explorers in the North Pacific in the Eighteenth Century
Kristina Küntzel-Witt

Chapter 5. Johann Reinhold Forster and the Ship Resolution as a Space of Knowledge Production
Anne Mariss

Chapter 6. Engineering Empire: German Influence on Chinese Industrialization, 1880–1925
Shellen Wu


Chapter 7. Expanding the Frontier(s): The Spreckels Family and the German-American Penetration of the Pacific, 1870–1920
Uwe Spiekermann

Chapter 8. Work and Non-Work in the “Paradise of the South Sea”: Samoa, cA. 1890–1914
Jürgen Schmidt

Chapter 9. German Women in the South Sea Colonies, 1884–1919
Livia Maria Rigotti

Chapter 10. Sacrifice, Heroism, Professionalization and Empowerment: Colonial New Guinea in the Lives of German Religious Women, 1899–1919
Katharina Stornig

Chapter 11. Rape, Indenture, and the Colonial Courts in German New Guinea
Emma Thomas

Chapter 12. The Trans-Pacific "Ghadar" Movement: The Role of the Pacific in the Indo-German Plot to Overthrow the British Empire during World War I
Douglas T. McGetchin

Chapter 13. The Vava’u Germans: History and Identity Construction of a Transcultural Community with Tongan and Pomeranian Roots
Reinhard Wendt

Epilogue: German Histories and Pacific Histories: New Directions
Matt Matsuda


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