SoSe 15: S-Literary Studies: Periods-Genres-Concepts II: The Imperial Adventure Novel
At the turn of the twentieth century, imperial expansion had come to a close and British attention now rested on consolidating and securing its Empire. Despite having reached the climax of its power, ... Lesen Sie weiter
At the turn of the twentieth century, imperial expansion had come to a close and British attention now rested on consolidating and securing its Empire. Despite having reached the climax of its power, the British Empire was riven by anxieties of imminent decline fuelled by a series of global economic and political developments: the British economy had fallen behind its global rivals, Russia's expansion into Asia threatened the security of the Raj and an ambitious German Reich posed a growing menace to Britain's global hegemony. While the imperial adventure novel can be read as a reactive response seeking to allay these apprehensions, it also exhibits self-reflexive and critical notions which question and comment on the imperial enterprise and Western modernity's self-fashioning. In comparison to their Victorian predecessors, these novels exhibit elements of both the adventure romance and the emerging genre of espionage fiction. We will be reading three examples of early twentieth-century adventure novels and focus on questions of representation, identity, knowledge and cultural hegemony within the context of the novels' different geographical locations, the "Orient" and pre-war/wartime Europe. Required texts: Rudyard Kipling's Kim (1901), Erskine Childers' The Riddle of the Sands (1903) and John Buchan's Greenmantle (1916). Shorter texts will be made available on Blackboard. In order to lessen the reading load during the semester, students are advised to read the novels during the term break.
Course requirements are a regular and active participation in class as well as short presentations. Credits can be obtained by submitting a term paper. Language of instruction: English. Required language level: C1.