Interkulturalität, Modernisierung und Nachhaltigkeit: Eine postkoloniale Lektüre von Hans Paasches Werk

Pierre Kodjio Nenguié


This article provides a postcolonial reading of Hans Paasche’s (1881–1920) work. Paasche’s literary œuvre can be summarized with three key categories: “Interculturality,” “Modernization,” and “Sustainability.” As German colonial officer, he was able to observe processes of modernization and colonization in East Africa and Germany. Using two texts, Ändert euren Sinn and Die Forschungsreise des Afrikaners Lukanga Mukara ins innerste Deutschland, the articles discuss relevant aspects of Paasche’s ideas about colonialism. Paasche’s intercultural experience as a colonial officer sharpened his views of modernization. He considered colonization a genuine form of modernization as it interacts with processes such as civilization, domination, and oppression. In Paasche’s view, modernization and colonization affected not only humans, but also—on an ecological level—animals, plants, nature, and the environment. The author’s familiarity with East African life and forms of thought enabled him to cast German modernization processes in a different light. In both texts Paasche criticized alcohol, tobacco, and drugs. Furthermore, he pleads for an ecocritcism avant la lettre with a combined look at ideological, political, feminist, and environmental issues within contemporary Germany. A postcolonial reading of Paasche’s two narratives opens up new critical perspectives on sustainability, technological development, and excessive consumerism. The article also establishes connections between Paasche and Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland as a precursor of Lebensreform. (PKN; in German)

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