I am working on my book manuscript, Geographies of Empire: German Colonialism, Race, and Space in East Africa, 1884-1905. This entails the expansion of the scope of my dissertation and additional research in Tanzania and Germany.
I am also developing an article on German ideas about the development of ideas about sovereignty in Germany’s colonial empire as the foundation of Carl Schmitt’s writings about sovereignty later in the 20th century. The article explores the formation of ideas about the norm and the exception in colonial emergencies.
My second project grew out of the first. While at the Bundesarchiv in Berlin for my first project, I came across files from the Tanzania National Archives that had been microfilmed and placed in Berlin. These microfilmed files were the product of a relationship between the Tanzanian and West German governments that developed out of concerns about the historiography of Germany’s colonial empire. East Germany controlled the colonial archives in Germany, and East German authors had begun writing scholarship that connected contemporary West Germany to the worst of German colonialism. The microfilming project aimed to counteract that scholarship. My project looks at the relationships that Tanzania developed with the two Germanies around the issues of German colonial history in the country, and the ways in which that history figured in creating German identity in the 1960s and 1970s.