German dreams of an empire in the Far East: the German expeditions to East Asia and Ferdinand von Richthofen’s encounters with China, 1850 – 1880

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedingBook Chapterpeer-review

Abstract

The article explores German encounters with East Asia in the rise of German nation-state building and imperial ambitions since the Revolutions of 1848 until the inner consolidation of Imperial Germany in the 1880s. It focuses on the scientific explorer Ferdinand von Richthofen and his curiosity and knowledge creation in his writings in relation to the German public debates on Asia. In physically travelling through Asia, Japan, and China in particular, Richthofen observed and constructed a transnational German image of Asia that went beyond crude racial stereotypes or sweeping assumptions of exclusive Eurocentric superiority while drawing upon his own identification of scientific observation and Prussian Kultur. Curiosity even under the guidance of Eurocentric imperial assumptions was open for social observations to construct differentiated images of Asia as spaces of interaction and change.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTravel Writings on Asia.
Subtitle of host publicationCuriosity, Identities, and Knowledge across the East, c. 1200 to the present
EditorsChristian Mueller, Matteo Salonia
Place of PublicationBasingstoke
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Pages175-209
ISBN (Electronic)9789811901249
ISBN (Print)9789811901232, 9811901236
Publication statusPublished Online - 1 Jun 2022

Publication series

NamePalgrave Series in Asia and Pacific Studies book series

Keywords

  • Curiosity
  • Imperialism
  • Germany
  • Asia
  • Development
  • Silk Road

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