EVENT: The Triebel Lecture  2017

Date/Time: Tuesday, 28 November 2017, 6.00pm to 7:00 pm

Location: The Vines Room, National Wine Centre

Cost: Free, but registration required

More information:

In 2017, the Australian Academy of the Humanities’ 10th Triebel Lecture will be held at the University of Adelaide in conjunction with Intersections, the colloquium of LCNAU (Languages and Cultures Network for Australian Universities). The Academy is the peak national body for the humanities in Australia. It has a Fellowship of over 600 distinguished researchers and practitioners from around Australia and overseas who are world leaders in fields ranging from archaeology, the arts, Asian and European studies, classical and modern literature, cultural and communication studies, languages and linguistics, philosophy, musicology, history, and religion.

Every three years, the Academy’s Council invites a distinguished scholar to deliver the Triebel Lecture. The Lecture was made possible through a bequest from Professor Louis A. Triebel FAHA, a Foundation Fellow of the Academy, for a lecture on a theme associated with modern European languages. Since 1986, the Triebel Lecture has demonstrated the extraordinary breadth and depth of modern European languages scholarship and its contribution to the Australian and international humanities community.

The 2017 lecture will be delivered by Professor Yixu Lu, Head of the School of Languages at the University of Sydney, on the following topic:

Myth-making for the Empire: Germany’s “model colony” in China (1897-1914)

For the seventeen years of its existence, the German colony of Tsingtau (Qingdao) on China’s northeast cost played an important role in the popular imagination that may seem quite out of proportion to its size and dubious profitability. As a belated imperial power, Wilheminian Germany was not only scrambling for colonies when all the better ones had been taken by other European powers, but it was also hungry for nationalist myths that would bolster its self-image. Tsingtau was meant to be many things, chiefly Germany’s “place in the sun”, the emblem of Wilhelm II’s “world politics”. Vast sums were lavished on Tsingtau to transform the foreign landscape and to create  a “German mother earth” in China. When WWI broke out, the position of the colony was untenable – there were no bases from which it could be supplied and Japan had long had an eye on this part of China. But the legend of Tsingtau’s martyrdom gave rise to a discourse of sacrifice that played an important role in propaganda on the home front. Here again, Tsingtau’s contribution to sustaining the nationalist myth, while the war lasted, was far greater than its military significance. To survey the various metamorphoses of Tsingtau is to become familiar with surprising aspects of German nationalism that have since disappeared from view.

The lecture will be chaired by Emeritus Professor Graham Tulloch FAHA.

Contact: Professor Emerita Jean Fornasiero FAHA, President of LCNAU,,  Business: +61 8 8313 5640, Other: +61 488 220 497


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