The past two decades have seen enormous changes in how the history of em-
pire and colonialism has come to be viewed, markedly revising earlier views of
Europe’s relationship to non- European worlds. German historians have fully
participated in this activity. The essays of this volume gather its best results.
Our collection presumes a collective conversation occurring in many different
venues over the past ten years, including a variety of sessions at the annual
meetings of the German Studies and American Historical Associations. It also
follows two major international conferences, one at the University of Sheﬃeld
(September 2006) and the other at San Francisco State University (September
2007), each of which resulted in key volumes, those edited by Michael Per-
raudin and Jürgen Zimmerer, German Colonialism and National Identity (Lon-
don: Routledge, 2011), and Volker Langbehn and Mohammad Salama, German
Colonialism: Race, the Holocaust, and Postwar Germany (New York: Columbia
University Press, 2011), respectively. A number of our contributors, including
the two editors themselves, were present on those earlier occasions, and our
own discussion builds gratefully on this wider activity.