By Lynne Tatlock, Matt Erlin
This quantity examines the circulate and version of German tradition within the usa through the so-called lengthy 19th century -- the century of mass German migration to the recent international, of industrialization and new applied sciences, American westward enlargement and Civil struggle, German fight towards nationwide team spirit and civil rights, and extending literacy on either side of the Atlantic. construction on fresh tendencies within the humanities and particularly on scholarship performed less than the rubric of cultural move, German tradition in Nineteenth-Century the United States locations its emphasis at the strategies through which american citizens took up, answered to, and reworked German cultural fabric for his or her personal reasons. proficient by means of a belief of tradition as multivalent, permeable, and protean, the booklet makes a speciality of the mechanisms, brokers, and technique of mediation among cultural areas. Fourteen essays written by way of students from the USA and Germany deal with such severe matters as translation, the flow and interpreting of German books and magazines in the USA, the variation of German rules and academic beliefs in numerous public boards and associations, the reception and transformation of ecu genres of writing reminiscent of serialized crime fiction and the encyclopedia, and the prestige of the ''German'' and the ''European'' in celebrations of yank tradition and criticisms of yankee racism. those essays discover the inventive variation in neighborhood, nearby, and nationwide settings within the usa of cultural fabric that emanated from the German-speaking territories in Europe. In twentieth-century reviews, ''Americanization'' is known because the movement of yankee principles, values, language, tradition, and items into Europe. This number of essays, against this, seems at nineteenth-century ''Americanization'' as a efficient transformation or re-packaging of German rules, values, and items within the usa. the amount will give a contribution to the continuing re-conception of yank tradition as considerably proficient via non-English-speaking eu cultures. It participates within the efforts of historians and students of literature to reconsider and re-theorize the development of nationwide cultures. Questions relating to hybridity, cultural corporation, and methods of acculturation have lengthy been on the middle of postcolonial reports, yet, as this choice of essays demonstrates, those phenomena aren't simply operative in encounters among colonizers and colonized. also they are primary to the early American reception and appropriation of German cultural fabrics.
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Extra info for German Culture in Nineteenth-Century America: Reception, Adaptation, Transformation
Her supposed lack of attention, her distracted, undisciplined gaze also characterized the visual culture in which the cinema had emerged. For Münsterberg, mass culture was indeed a woman. 24 The trouble with mass culture was for Münsterberg not only one of gender or sexuality, but also one of biological race or ethnicity. His essay of 1914 “Society and the Dance” offers a case in point. ”25 Making an abrupt leap of his own, he goes on to associate the spread of mass culture with the latest wave of newcomers to America: The tremendous influx of warm-blooded, sensual peoples who came in millions from southern and eastern Europe .
It is one of the most significant ironies in German-American cultural transfer that the spreading of German culture in the United States, which was conceived of as a political mission in the interest, with the support, and on behalf of the German government in 1902, was implemented not by the academic nationalists, but, following the outsiders Moritz Lazarus and Karl Lamprecht, a generation later by the academic exiles who had become victims of the excesses of German nationalism. Thus, the concept of international cultural history was not pursued in the originally intended affirmative vein, but from a very critical distance to the culture it was to represent.
There are many possible ways to think about cultural foreign politics and the question of cultural transfer. I frame the discussion that follows in terms of “soft power,” an idea that I borrow from political scientist Joseph S. Nye, Dean of the Kennedy School at Harvard University and a former Assistant Secretary of Defense. Although Nye coined the term more than a decade ago, it obtained new purchase after 9/11 as an alternative to the regnant policy of using military force (or “hard power”) at the price of alienating the rest of the world.