Fragile Whiteness: Women and Girls in German Colonial Fiction, 1900–1913
- Women in German Yearbook: Feminist Studies in German Literature & Culture
- University of Nebraska Press
- Volume 32, 2016
- pp. 111-137
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- Additional Information
This article examines the representation of white female heroines in works of lesser-known colonial writers including Agnes Sapper, Henny Koch, Elisa Bake, Valerie Hodann, and Hanna Christaller. Whiteness as portrayed by these authors is both powerful and fragile; white German women are both the bearers of German culture, able to bring order and civilization to “wild” Africa, and vulnerable creatures who can be attacked and violated by natives. The responsibility for upholding this racialized German identity and bearing white German children in Germany’s African colonies is placed on female characters, and the need to protect these young female heroines from Black male violence is used to justify the genocide against the Herero and Nama peoples.