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Patrick Hege


IGK Fellow; Extra Parental Year (DFG Funded) 


City of Ruins: Sights and Sites of Colonial Construction in German Occupied Dar es Salaam, 1885-1917

This dissertation examines the history of German colonialism, racial discourse and the urban planning of Dar es Salaam (1800-1924). As an entry point, I have chosen to study the actors and events surrounding plans to transform the East African port into a racially divided “dual-city.” Efforts to realize a strict racialization of space, however, were ultimately obstructed by an array of competing colonial interests and ambitions. As a result, the capital of German East Africa would never become a racially segregated dual-city, nor would it serve the interests of a so-called “white man’s colony.” These among others reasons have suggested that this project should question colonial binaries and Manichean historical constructions. Dar es Salaam was indeed uniquely heterogeneous (90 African ethnicities) and was the site of encounter between many different ethnic groups and transimperial agents of colonialism (Europeans, Arabs and South Asians). However, micro-studies and local histories on city building in German East Africa have seriously neglected the role and function of the city’s complex hierarchies and colonial identities. Although localized approaches are certainly important, colonial histories which focus on a few local actors tend to obscure the many other influences which shaped their colonial visions and the urban realities of the city. The central and precarious position of thousands of South Asians and British colonial subjects in Dar es Salaam, in itself, suggests the necessity of a wider analytical context.

This project will approach this urban history from a global perspective, and will situate historical actors within two global frameworks. Following the lead of recent scholarship on empire, it will utilize a vertical context of metropole-colony relations. More significantly, perhaps, it will introduce a horizontal context and examine the influences of Dar es Salaam’s economic and cultural entanglements with the African interior and South Asia. I believe that a combination of established and more recent analytical frameworks will help us explain how colonial Dar es Salaam, in many respects, became an historical anomaly. That is, it will help explain why Dar es Salaam would never become a racial city divided between black and white, or colonizers and colonized. Moreover, this project follows a working hypothesis that the encounter of official architects and colonial knowledges (i.e. urban planning and social categories) with the cultural diversity of Dar es Salaam (Africans, Arabs and South Asians) rendered binary colonial visions untenable – and the realization of a dual-city impossible. Informed by James Scott’s theoretical work on urban legibility and high-modernism, this project will complicate arguments about processes of colonial racialization, and show how circular flows of German imperialists, as well as African and South Asian migrants converged in Dar es Salaam to produce new forms of “organized” multiculturalism and Indo-German imperialism.



Since 2012 
Ph.D Candidate, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin (Advisor: Andreas Eckert)
DFG Fellow at the International Graduate Research Program Berlin - New York - Toronto, Center for Metropolitan Studies, Berlin, Germany

2008 — 2011
Mphil in History, Fordham University of New York
Primary Field: Modern German Colonial History; Secondary Fields: African History, Intellectual History, and Theory

2006 — 2007
Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Department of History, Fulbright Fellow  

May 2006
MA in German Studies, University of Colorado at BoulderThesis: “Digesting Nietzsche: Historical Dyspepsia and the Embodiment of Zarathustra”
Secondary Field: German Intellectual History

Summer 2005
Freie Universität Berlin, DAAD Fellow, Fubis Program in German Literature and Film

May 2004
BA in History and German Studies, University of Colorado at Boulder
Honors Thesis: “A New Sonderweg? German Political Culture in Light of the U.S. Invasion of Iraq, March 2003” (written in German)

2002 — 2003
Universität Regensburg, Junior Year Abroad (full-matriculation)


2012 — 2014
DFG-Fellow at the International Graduate Program (IGK) Berlin – New York - Toronto, Center for Metropolitan Studies, Technical University of Berlin, Germany

2011 — 2012
DAAD, Dissertation Research Grant, Berlin, Germany

2008 — 2011
Senior Teaching Fellowship, Fordham University of New York

2006 — 2007
Fulbright Fellow, Teaching Assistant and Guest Student at the Humboldt Universitaet zu Berlin, Department of History

Spring 2005
DAAD, Short Term Grant to Study German Literature and Film at the Freie Universität, Berlin, Germany

May 2003
Fair Scholarship in German Studies, University of Colorado at Boulder


Hege, P. (2015). The German variation. A sketch of colonial Städtebau in Africa ca. 1884-1919. In Carlos Nunes Silva (Ed.), Urban Planning in Sub-Saharan Africa. Colonial and Postcolonial Planning Cultures (pp. 165-179). New York: Routledge.

Hege, P., Hennecke, S., & Dame, T. (2015). Der Erste Weltkrieg als Zäsur? Kontinuitäten und Brüche in der deutschen Architektur, Stadt- und Freiraumplanung. Informationen zur Modernen Stadtgeschichte, 1, 169-171.  

Hege, Patrick & Nathanael Kuck, “The City, the Nation, and the World around 1900: Global Connections and Imperial Intersections,” Conference Report published in H-Soz-u-Kult, Dec. 2010. 


Urban history (Berlin)
East African cities (Dar es Salaam)
German imperialism and colonialism
National identity
Intellectual history
Fin-de-siècle Europe
Historiography and theory


Fall 2010 — Spring 2011
Fordham University, Senior Teaching Fellow, History Department, Three Sections of B.A. Course Understanding Historical Change
Fall 2009 — Spring 2010
Fordham University, Teaching Fellow, History Department, Three Sections of B.A. Course Understanding Historical Change

Fall 2008 — Spring 2009
Fordham University, Teaching Fellow, History Department, Two Sections of B.A. Course The West: From Enlightenment to the Present

2006 — 2007
Helmholtz Gymnasium, Potsdam, Germany, English Department,Current topics in U.S. American Literature and History

2004 — 2006
University of Colorado at Boulder, German Department, Lead Graduate Instructor, Beginning and Intermediate Courses in German as a Foreign Language


01 September 2015 - 07 September 2015
School of Oriental and African Studies
(research in special collections)

01 July  2014 – 29 August 2014
Tanzania National Archives, Dar es Salaam
(archival research/fieldwork)

01 April 2014 - 29 April 2014
Tanzania National Archives, Dar es Salaam
(archival research/fieldwork)

15 January 2013 – 15 May 2013
University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Tanzania National Archives, Dar es Salaam
(archival research/fieldwork)


June 2012
“Weltmarktpolitik contra Europa? The German Werkbund and the Production of Global Heimat,” Paper Accepted to be Presented at Berlin Program Summer Workshop: “German Studies Between the Global and the Local”

April 2012
“Berlin Seminar 2012: Fulbright Networks – 60 Years of German-American Academic Exchange,” Alumni Panalist, Berlin, Germany

Dec. 2011 
“Cities in History: Urban Identities Reconsidered,” Conference Planner and Commenter, Urban Studies at Fordham University, New York City

May 2011
“(Mis)Understanding Historical Change: Uses and Abuses of Glenn Beck in the History Classroom.” Paper presented at the Jesuit Pedagogy Colloquium at Fordham University, New York City

Dec. 2010
“Germanizing the Colonies: Dar es Salaam, Cologne, and the Werkbund Exhibition of 1914,Paper Presented at Transatlantic Graduate Research Program Workshop at Fordham University, New York City

June 2010 
“The City, the Nation, and the World around 1900: Global Connections and Imperial Intersections,” Paper Commenter, at the Center for Metropolitan Studies, Technical University of Berlin, Germany


American Historical Association
Conference Group for Central European History
German Studies Association
German Honor Society

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