An Animal-Centered Perspective on Colonial Oppression: Animal Representations and the Narrating Ox in Uwe Timm’s ‘‘Morenga’’ (1978)

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Röhrs, Steffen: An Animal-Centered Perspective on Colonial Oppression: Animal Representations and the Narrating Ox in Uwe Timm’s ‘‘Morenga’’ (1978). In: Humanities 6 (2017), Nr. 1, 3. DOI:

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Sum total of downloads: 266

As a result of its topic and its narrative style, Uwe Timm’s novel ‘Morenga’ (1978) marks an important step in the development of postcolonial German literature. The main theme of the book is the bloody suppression of the Herero and the Nama uprisings through the German army in South-West Africa at the beginning of the 20th century. With recourse to historical and fictional documents and by using different narrative perspectives, the text achieves a plurality of voices and thereby destabilizes a one-dimensional view on colonialism. The present article discusses the functions of the nonhuman animals appearing in ‘Morenga’. It is assumed that the animal representations are an essential part of the plot and underscore the criticism of colonial rule in a narrative manner too. The novel contains several descriptions of suffering animals and links them to the harm of the Herero and the Nama in order to point out the ruthlessness of the colonists. Moreover, the book features a story-telling ox, which initiates a reflection process about possible ways of narrating colonial history. The talking ox adds a specific animal-centered perspective on colonial oppression and raises questions about emancipation, self-determination, and the agency of the nonhuman ‘other’
License of this version: CC BY 4.0 Unported
Document Type: Article
Publishing status: publishedVersion
Issue Date: 2017
Appears in Collections:Philosophische Fakultät

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pos. country downloads
total perc.
1 image of flag of Germany Germany 198 74.44%
2 image of flag of United States United States 18 6.77%
3 image of flag of France France 5 1.88%
4 image of flag of China China 5 1.88%
5 image of flag of Serbia Serbia 4 1.50%
6 image of flag of Belgium Belgium 4 1.50%
7 image of flag of India India 3 1.13%
8 image of flag of Brazil Brazil 3 1.13%
9 image of flag of Italy Italy 2 0.75%
10 image of flag of Spain Spain 2 0.75%
    other countries 22 8.27%

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