Foreign Languages & Literatures ETDs


Bettina Davis

Publication Date



Christian Kracht in his 2012 novel Imperium und Daniel Kehlmann in his 2005 bestselling novel Measuring the World explore facets of German identity against the backdrop of aspects of German colonial history. In my thesis, I argue that with their satirical representations of the German Self in the encounter with the (colonial) Other, the authors reflect critically on the contemporary multicultural moment in Germany. My study maps interpretative approaches to these representations as a critique of German cultural specificity in contact with cultural diversity in both novels. For that purpose, I examine the critical functions of the narrative styles of parody and satire, as well as the functions of the tight nets of literary references to other western literatures employed in both novels. Ultimately, these functions are to talk about aspects of German history and identity in a critical but conciliatory light.


Christian Kracht, Imperium, Daniel Kehlmann Die Vermessung der Welt, German national identity, German colonial history

Document Type




Degree Name

German Studies

Level of Degree


Department Name

Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures

First Advisor

Schroeter, Katrin

First Committee Member (Chair)

Baackmann, Susanne

Second Committee Member

Wilby, Jason