Description: With an eye to recovering the experiences of those in frontier zones of contact, Savage worlds maps a wide range of different encounters between Germans and non-European indigenous peoples in the age of high imperialism. Examining outbreaks of radical violence as well as instances of mutual co-operation, it examines the differing goals and experiences of German explorers, settlers, travellers, merchants, and academics, and how the variety of projects they undertook shaped their relationship with the indigenous peoples they encountered.

Whether in the Asia-Pacific region, the Americas or Africa, within Germany’s formal empire or in the imperial spaces of other powers, Germans brought with them assumptions about the nature of extra-European peoples. These assumptions were often subverted, disrupted or overturned by their own experience of frontier interactions, which led some Germans to question European ‘knowledge’ of these non-European peoples. Other Germans, however, signally failed to shift from their earlier assumptions about indigenous people and continued to act in the colonies according to their belief in the innate superiority of Europeans.

Examining the multifaceted nature of German interactions with indigenous populations, the wide ranging research presented in this volume offers historians and anthropologists a clear demonstration of the complexity of frontier zone encounters. It illustrates the variety of forms that agency took for both indigenous peoples and Germans in imperial zones of contact and poses the question of how far Germans were able to overcome their initial belief that, in leaving Europe, they were entering ‘savage worlds’.

Abstract: Enemies in the Aisles is a study of the politics of Israeli-Palestinian market encounter in Israeli businesses in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem. It shows how these market encounters partially depoliticize Israeli-Palestinian relations and thus normalize Israeli settler colonization, but also how political antagonisms crop up in the marketplace to render this normalization partial and precarious. 18 months of ethnographic fieldwork centered on participant-observation at one of the large supermarkets that have proliferated in Israeli settlements in recent years, where many to most entry-level workers are occupied Palestinian subjects and most customers and managers are Jewish-Israeli settlers. The study’s focus on this particularly rich site of Israeli-Palestinian encounter was supplemented by broader interviews and immersion with Palestinians who are subject to Israeli occupation and dispossession while working in Israeli service economies. In the context of intensified, militarized separation between Israelis and Palestinians since the 1990s, supermarkets and other settlement businesses have become rare spaces of ostensibly civilian encounter between the groups. They have also become flashpoints for broader discourses about the market as a site of peace, or alternatively of domination. Enemies offers a nuanced ethnographic account of the relations among neoliberalism, market practice and the entrenchment of Israeli settler colonization and occupation, complicating literatures that have emphasized the structural alignment between these forces. Specifically, I argue that Israeli-Palestinian market encounters instill a precarious normalization of Israeli settler colonization. On the one hand, the exploitation of Palestinian service work, as well as a partially civilianized security regime, help to displace the political antagonisms of colonization from the marketplace, producing an atmosphere that partly normalizes Israeli dominance. On the other hand, at times this normalization is unsettled by forms of political antagonism that emerge both subtly and overtly from workplace interactions, and range from hovering suspicions to direct, heated exchanges about the 2014 Gaza war. The project conceptualizes these findings as various forms of settler-indigenous antagonism, including an antagonistic public sphere and a politics of dissonance between a settler public and a Palestinian counterpublic. These forms of political antagonism point to the limits of market depoliticization – and the shortcomings of an analytical overemphasis on it – even though, crucially, they do not constitute agonistic democracy and are not best characterized as forms of indigenous resistance. Enemies thus puts anthropological, political-theoretical and other writings on neoliberalism, settler colonialism, security, public spheres and the political into novel conversation. Through its focus on frontier service economies, Enemies also draws attention to the distinctly civilian, settler aspects of Israeli power, intervening in Palestine Studies and critical theory literatures that have habitually emphasized military power and logics of rule in Israel/Palestine as a site of global counter-insurgency. I thus help resituate Israel/Palestine for further, nuanced comparison to various global configurations of (neo-)liberalism with settler colonialism, securitization and other forms of power.

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