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On 4 October 2019 – with Diana Natermann (Leiden University)

Lecture co-organised with the Imperial History Working Group (EUI)

During this lecture, Dr Natermann will start by engaging with the development of Colonial photography within – but not limited to – the former German Empire, followed by the presentation of a specific photographic collection at the MARKK (ethnological Museum of Hamburg), and finally lead to a discussion of the longer term effects of this selected style of photography. Further attention is paid to the particularity of colonial visuality from a (post)colonial perspective in order to analyse how influential the ‘scientific‘ photographic design of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries has been (or still is) on today’s popular image of the so-called ‘African‘. The aim is to show how the combination of visual history, colonial history and post-colonial studies can help identify long-term cultural markers and influences.


Diana Natermann (Leiden University)

As a cultural historian, my intellectual interests lie on (post-)colonial theories within an African-European context. My expertise includes biographical research, use of ego-documents, digital humanities, visual history with a special interest in photography, women’s and masculinity studies, food history, and the interplay between culture and politics in decolonised states. When teaching, my goals are to transfer the value of critical thinking to students and raise their own voices.   After completing my MA in Medieval and Modern History at the J.W. Goethe University Frankfurt, I commenced my PhD studies at the EUI which I successfully concluded in 2015. The title of my doctoral dissertation is “Pursuing Whiteness in the Colonies. Private Documents from the Congo Free State and German East Africa (1884-1914)”. It was published in January 2018 under the same title. Since being rewarded my PhD title in October 2015, I worked as a post-doc researcher at the University of Hamburg at Prof. Jürgen Zimmerer´s research center Hamburg’s (Post-)Colonial Legacy. There I led an interdisciplinary project between the Ethnological Museum in Hamburg (MARKK) and the University of Hamburg. Currently, I am an Assistant Professor at Leiden University where I teach in the BA International Studies and the MA International Relations programmes.