German Postcolonial Literature

(2202 words)
  • Nina Berman (Ohio State University)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

After an introductory review of historical aspects and theoretical dimensions of the notion of postcolonial German literature, this essay discusses three groups of texts: (1) postcolonial literature related to German colonialism but not written in the German language; (2) postcolonial literature written in German; and (3) German-language literature that takes a postcolonial perspective but is not written by authors who hail from former colonial territories.

Historical background

Germany acquired colonies in the early 1880s, later than other European powers, and lost these territories soon afterward as a result of its defeat in World War I. The Versailles Treaty distributed the areas of the German colonial empire …

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Berman, Nina. "German Postcolonial Literature". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 18 June 2004; last revised 14 November 2005.
[, accessed 27 September 2016.]