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Author

Sean Hickey

Date of Award

2014

Document Type

Restricted Thesis: Campus only access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

History

First Advisor

Dr. John Treadway

Second Advisor

Dr. Carol Summers

Third Advisor

Dr. Hugh West

Abstract

This thesis focuses on women’s involvement in German colonialism by examining the rhetoric found in three primary periodicals that constructed women’s role in the colonies. It specifically looks at the colony of Southwest Africa (modern day Namibia) as the only settler colony and the primary destination for German women to carry out their role as civilizers. Women’s role was constructed and made more complex over time, namely with the establishment of the Frauenbund der Deutschen Kolonialgesellschaft (Women’s Association of the German Colonial Society) in 1907 after the Nama-Herero War. The Frauenbund expanded upon the traditional dialogue concerning women’s colonial involvement to include their abilities to socially reproduce German culture and Deutschtum. The rhetoric of social reproduction found further institutionalization and significance in three learning institutions that were erected to help prepare women for life in the colonies and their role in the German imperial enterprise: the Kolonial-Frauenschule (Colonial Women’s School), the Lehrfarm (Teaching Farm), and the Heimathaus Keetmanshoop (Homeland House of Keetmanshoop). Despite these efforts, the mission of the Frauenbund and the Deutsche Kolonialgesellschaft met resistance in Southwest Africa as implementing an idealized rhetoric proved more difficult than anticipated.

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