Schatten des Schattens: Sprache in (post)kolonialen Zeiten

»Exotisches« Westfalen: August Erdland und der Kolonialismus

From Westphalia to the South Seas - August Erdland, a farmer's son born in Oelde in 1874, went to the South Seas as a missionary for a good ten years in 1900. On the Marshall Islands, a good 13,000 kilometres from his home, he became a writer. The archipelago in distant Oceania, north of Australia, became a second home for him. While Erdland's highly regarded linguistic and ethnological writings are factual, in his literary sketches of the South Seas the author presents himself as an entertaining storyteller who also includes many an anecdote. Erdland provides realistic and not embellished portraits of an island world that was anything but a paradise. Unlike many explorers, Erdland rejected the sense of superiority of many white colonialists and recognised the islanders' right to self-determination. His comments enrich the current critical debates on German colonial history.
The literature scholar Walter Gödden and the actor and speaker Carsten Bender provide insights into the life of a missionary who failed in his own mission and became increasingly critical of colonialism in an entertaining dialogue reading.

In the event series Schatten des Schattens we ask ourselves how strongly colonial history characterises our languages and how far colonial patterns reach into our everyday speech and also into literature. Shadows of Shadows also sees language as part of the larger process of decolonisation. The two-year project uses conversations and artistic contributions to trace historical traces in language - between science and art, between Westphalia and the world.

Walter Gödden
Carsten Bender


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Die Veranstaltung gehört zum Projekt Schatten des Schattens: Sprache in (post)kolonialen Zeiten, einer Kooperation von Burg Hülshoff – Center for Literature (CfL), der LWL-Kommission für Mundart- und Namenforschung Westfalens und dem Germanistischen Institut der Universität Münster, gefördert durch die LWL-Kulturstiftung im Rahmen von »POWR! Postkoloniales Westfalen-Lippe« und der Stiftung der Sparkasse Münsterland Ost.