ENGL 223 A1: Reading Politics: Empire and the Postcolonial

E. Kent

This course invites students to consider the relationship between culture and imperialism, introducing key concepts developed by literary critics seeking to explain the ways in which texts help manufacture political consent. Though imperialism has always existed in one form or another, our particular interest will be the British Empire, the political and military force that laid the groundwork for, among others, the settler nation of Canada. Together we will read texts published at the height of the British Empire in order to appreciate the hegemonic ways that empire is represented in culture. Then we will turn to critical and theoretical reflections on the uncomfortable and unresolved legacies of imperial practices.