Ulf Morgenstern
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‘Scientific tourism’
Colonialism in the photographs and letters of the young cosmopolitan Carl Heinrich Becker, 1900–2
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The orientalist Carl Heinrich Becker (1876-1933), heir of a fortune his father had made Indonesia, is known as the inventor of “Islamwissenschaft” and as the liberal Prussian minister of education and science in the Weimar-Republic. Unknown are the nearly 500 letters and 200 photographs from a 2-year travel through Egypt, Sudan, Palestine, and Turkey. This chapter illustrates how during this journey through British and French colonies the young German scholar developed his concept of a culturally and economically based study of “the Orient”.

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Savage worlds

German encounters abroad, 1798-1914


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