ERG SES D 09, Histories of Education
In my research project I attempt an analysis of the discursive change the image of “Turks” and “Turkey” went through in German pedagogy from 1839 to 1918. The discourse concerning “Turks” and “Turkey” is a chapter of German history of education that appears to be almost forgotten nowadays. It can only be referred to the study Wie die Türken in unsere Köpfe kamen (2013) of Lohmann and Böttcher who point out that this topic is a research desideratum. In view of the currently tense relations between Germany and Turkey, a reconstruction of the historical “Turkey”-discourse is expected to lead to an enlightening contribution to the clarification of outdated stereotypes that have not been overcome yet.
Starting point of my study is the Tanzimat era (1839), a period of profound reforms and modernization in the Ottoman Empire, and end point is the defeat of the Central Powers in World War I (1918). This period of time is defined by an interchanging image of alterity based on newly emerging bilateral relations between both countries, which can be seen in shifting external ascriptions (from “Horror of the Occident” to “Sick Man of Europe” and “Prussian of the Orient”). On the one hand bilateral relations are reflected in the fact that the German Reich is the main European power who is willing to ensure the territorial integrity of the Ottoman Empire and on the other hand in the Young Turks pushing a process of modernization under German influence.
My work is constituted in this nexus but sets the focus on the educational segment. The main research questions are: How do the changing relationship of both empires find expression in the German educational sources? Are there semantic shifts of the notion of “Turks” and “Turkey” in textbooks during this period? To investigate these questions relevant lemmata and their semantic environment will be examined: How are they used and which connotations can be found?
Concentrating on the institutionally and socially recognized knowledge of the ‘long 19th century’, my main sources are textbooks for higher education in history with a focus on selected entries to identify semantic shifts as well as discursive continuities and discontinuities.
The theoretical framework of this study is mainly shaped by Michel Foucault’s concept of discourse and related contributions. Foucault’s discourse concept can be descripted as a historically specific and with power entangled space of knowledge and sayability (Foucault 2015). Referring back to Foucault, Jürgen Link distinguishes between different categories of discourse. According to Link, pedagogy is an inter-discourse (Interdiskurs), a mediating dimension or a reintegrated field of knowledge, which connects to specialized discourses and conveys special knowledge (Link 2006). Besides that, this approach of the research project is located in the immediate context of postcolonial studies. Referring to Edward Said’s Orientalism the representation of “the other” turns out to be a self-assurance and empowerment strategy which characterizes collective identity, also in Germany. Therefore, statements must be examined under the concept of theown.
Altogether this contribution gives a general overview of my research project and outlines first results.
The methodological framework of the research project is based on approaches of discourse analysis which are theoretically related to the discourse theory of Foucault (Foucault 2015). These approaches serve as a toolbox wherefrom a methodology is developed. An essential concept for my study is the Historical Discourse Analysis of Achim Landwehr (Landwehr 2008). Following this, subjects of investigation are the genesis of social knowledge, its constitutive conditions and the historical references. All of these are requirements for the possibility of producing the regularly occurring statements of the discourse. To approach the research questions, the textbooks are quantitatively examined in its entirety with the software MAXQDA to disclose semantic shifts. In addition to that numerous books are qualitatively analyzed with a focus on selected entries to identify specific narratives of the discourse. Various events are decisively responsible on the one hand for the specific European imagination of “Turks” and “Turkey” and on the other hand for the historical reform process of the Ottoman Empire. Therefore, historical representations are taken into consideration, such as „The Fall of Constantinople” (1453), “The Greek War of Independence (1832-1832) or World War I to identify the specific imaginations. The analysis focusses on the identification of Kollektivsymbole (Link 2006) and narratives.
I aim to answer the above-mentioned questions concerning the representation of “Turks” and “Turkey” in the source material. In addition, the results will be located in adjacent discourses (Orient-discourse) and overarching issues. It can be assumed that the perceptions are influenced by economic factors and the changing relations between the two states. So far it has become apparent that the juxtaposition of Islam and Europe in the early corpus plays an exposed role. Europe is considered enlightened, civilized and Islam acts as a stagnant counterpart. Some questions that are still valid to this day, such as whether the Ottoman Empire belongs to Europe, are being raised at that time.
Gencer, Mustafa (2002): Bildungspolitik, Modernisierung und kulturelle Interaktion. Deutsch-türkische Beziehungen 1908-1918, Münster u.a.: Lit Verlag, 2002. Foucault, Michel (2015): Archäologie des Wissens. 17. Auflage, Frankfurt a. M.: Suhrkamp, 2015. Fuhrmann, Malte (2006): Der Traum vom deutschen Orient. Zwei deutsche Kolonien im Osmanischen Reich 1851-1918, Frankfurt a. M.: Campus, 2006. Landwehr, Achim (2008): Historische Diskursanalyse. Frankfurt/ New York: Campus Verlag, 2008. Link, Jürgen (2006): Diskursanalyse unter besonderer Berücksichtigung von Interdiskurs und Kollektivsymbolik. In: Handbuch sozialwissenschaftliche Diskursanalyse, hrsg. von R. Keller, A. Hierseland, W. Schneider, W. Viehöfer, Bd. 1: Theorien und Methoden. 2., aktualis. und erw. Aufl., Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, 2006, S. 407-430. Lohmann, Ingrid et al. (2013): Wie die Türken in unsere Köpfe kamen: Das Türkei-Bild in der deutschen Pädagogik zwischen 1820 und 1930. Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaft 16.4, 2013, S. 752-772. Quataert, Donald (2017): The Ottoman Empire 1700-1922, 4. Aufl., CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2017. Said, Edward W. (2003): Orientalism: Western Conceptions of the Orient. London: Penguin Modern Classics, 2003.
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