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Open Access Thesis
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For centuries, the Pacific Islands have been disguised by Europeans through the trope of “island paradise." Despite Europe’s role in bringing colonization and racial oppression to Oceania, the dominant narrative has been that Pacific Islanders lead simple lives, untouched from the complicated aspects of the “modern world.” This narrative has enabled White outsiders to fantasize about the Pacific Islands as a place for personal denial of Western social conventions, simultaneously allowing White European men to fetishize and possess Pacific Island culture and identity. My honors project will closely examine three fictional German language texts- Haimotochare (1819), Der Papalagi (1920), and Imperium (2012)- centered around the exploration German colonial involvement in Pacific Islands. My analysis of these texts will allow for the understanding of how the false narrative of “island paradise” came to be, how it has been embraced and weaponized, and what it means for both German and Pacific Islander post-colonial identity.
Ethnic Studies Commons, German Literature Commons, Hawaiian Studies Commons, Indigenous Studies Commons, Melanesian Studies Commons, Other Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Commons, Other German Language and Literature Commons, Polynesian Studies Commons, Women's Studies Commons