Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Alan E. Steinweis


In recent decades, historians have increasingly recognized the significance of German colonialism. Though short-lived in relation to other European overseas empires (created in 1884 and dissolved in 1919), the German colonial empire had a substantial historical impact. Historians have drawn particular attention to colonialism’s influence on national identity within the Deutsches Reich. To many Germans in the recently formed nation-state (founded in 1871), the foreign possessions represented Germany’s status as a world power and a mission to spread German culture across much of the globe. The colonial settler press was an especially important institution to such imperialist modes of thought. These newspapers were not limited to their places of origin such as Africa or Samoa, and exported to the metropole as well. Such publications disseminated their colonial perspectives to their mother country, and influenced German national identities in doing so. The given thesis focuses in particular on one German colonial newspaper: Südwest: Unabhängige Zeitung für die Interessen des gesamten Schutzgebiets. Despite its significance, the German colonial settler press has received a limited amount of historical attention, and this thesis is the first historical study to center on the chosen publication. It analyzes the colonial Southwest African paper’s representations of national identity from its beginnings in 1910 until its sudden closure amidst the First World War in 1914, and the manners in which the newspaper’s colonial coverage conveyed a specific sense of German-ness to its readership. Included in the publication’s form of national identity is: a preference for settler-farmers as an ideal economic class, negative stereotypes used to contrast Africans with Germans, and a gendered worldview that extolled “imperial masculinity.” Through a close analysis of the German identity communicated in the pages of Südwest, this thesis offers a unique examination of the colonial settler press and the perspectives that it contributed to the German public consciousness.



Number of Pages

90 p.

Included in

History Commons