Today, the East African state of Tanzania is renowned for wildlife preserves such as the Serengeti National Park, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, and the Selous Game Reserve. Yet few know that most of these initiatives emerged from decades of German colonial rule. The Nature of German Imperialism gives the first full account of Tanzanian wildlife conservation up until World War I, focusing upon elephant hunting and the ivory trade as vital factors in a shift from exploitation to preservation that increasingly excluded indigenous Africans. Analyzing the formative interactions between colonial governance and the natural world, The Nature of German Imperialism situates East African wildlife policies within the global emergence of conservationist sensibilities around 1900.
List of Figures
Introduction: Doorsteps in Paradise
PART I: BIG MEN, BIG GAME BETWEEN PRECOLONY AND COLONY
Chapter 1. Tusks, Trust, and Trade: Ecologies of Hunting in precolonial East Africa
Chapter 2. Seeing like a State, Acting like a Chief: The Colonial Politics of Ivory, 1890-1903
PART II: THE MAKING OF TANZANIA’S WILDLIFE CONSERVATION REGIME
Chapter 3. Preserving the Hunt, Provoking a War Wildlife Politics and Maji Maji
Chapter 4. Colony or Zoological Garden? Settlers, Science and the State
Chapter 5. The Imperial Game Rinderpest, Wildmord, and the Emperor’s Breakfast, 1910-1914
PART III: SPACES OF CONSERVATION BETWEEN METROPOLE AND COLONY
Chapter 6. Places of Deep Time the political Geography of colonial Wildlife Conservation
Chapter 7. Rivalry and Stewardship the Anglo-German origins of international wildlife preservation in Africa
Chapter 8. A Sense of Place Representations of Africa and environmental identities in Germany
Epilogue: Germany’s African Wildlife and the Presence of the Past
Bernhard Gissibl is a postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Leibniz Institute of European History in Mainz. He is co-editor of the volume Civilizing Nature: National Parks in Global Historical Perspective (Berghahn, 2012) and was awarded the Young Scholar's Prize of the African Studies Association in Germany (VAD).
"Upon completion of this book the reader easily captures the importance and complexities of conservation and wildlife policies in German East Africa. This has much to do with Gissibl's adept ability to tell layered and contextualized stories that ground themselves in the existing scholarship [...] Along the way the author also continually challenges widespread colonial myths by bringing in local African voices [...] Gissibl employs an impressively wide array of methodological tools as he helps bring the German colonial empire into a rather Anglophile environmental historiography."
– Environmental History
"Compellingly written and tightly argued, The Nature of German Imperialism will be of great interest to historians of Germany, imperialism and the environment. Present-day conservationists, too, will read it to their benefit."
– Environment and History
"This is a truly outstanding study of a topic that has been only tangentially treated in the literature. Gissibl draws upon an impressive body of evidence, weaving sources together seamlessly without letting the details occlude the main arguments and conceptual direction."
– Jane Carruthers, University of South Africa