This module encourages exploration of British interactions with the world beyond Europe during the eighteenth century. The so-called Orient and the New World became sites of exchange but also domination. New hybrid cultural forms emerged from these exchanges and appropriations. We will investigate a variety of texts that depict non-European people and places, as well as texts written by foreign and colonial peoples, to arrive at a critical understanding of cross-cultural and transnational influences at home and abroad. We will address and debate such topics as 'Cosmopolitanism in the Eighteenth Century', ‘Foreign Influence on British Identity’, ‘Sympathy and Sensibility’, ‘The Material Culture of Empire’, ‘Exoticism’, ‘Poetics of Slavery’, ‘The Black Atlantic’, and ‘Transatlantic Culture’. Students taking this module will gain a firm grounding in the postcolonial study of eighteenth-century literature and the ethical and political implications of these texts and the ways in which we choose to approach them.
Total contact hours: 30
Private study hours: 270
Total study hours: 300
Method of assessment
Assessment will be based on two essays of 3000 words each (45% for each essay, forming a total of 90%), with the remaining 10% coming from seminar performance.
Aphra Behn, Oroonoko (1688)
Richard Steele, 'Inkle and Yarico',The Spectator 11 (1711)
Daniel Defoe, Moll Flanders (1722)
Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay, The Federalist (1788)
Henry Mackenzie, The Man of Feeling (1771)
William Beckford, Vathek (1786)
Pastoral Poetry: Thomas Gray, 'Elegy Written in a Country Church-yard'; Oliver Goldsmith, 'The Deserted Village'; Ann Yearsley, 'Clifton Hill'; George Crabbe, 'The Village' (various dates)
Cook's Voyages (1768-1779)
"Unca Eliza Winkfield," The Female American (1767)
Phillis Wheatley, from Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral (1773)
Elizabeth Inchbald, Nature and Art (1796)
See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)
On successful completion of this module the student will be able to demonstrate the following subject specific learning outcomes :
• nuanced knowledge of the transatlantic and global nature of many eighteenth-century British texts as well as texts produced in eighteenth-century British colonies..
• ability to analyse representations of different peoples and parts of the world in various genres from the eighteenth century, including novels, poems, and periodicals.
• ability to relate writing about the non-European world to larger historical and political contexts.
• highly developed analytical skills, particularly textual analysis.
• a thorough understanding of critical approaches to representations of other peoples and cultures.
On successful completion of this module students will be able to demonstrate the following generic learning outcomes:
• apply developed close reading techniques to a range of literary texts and genres and make complex comparisons between them;
• display strong presentation and group discussion skills;
• possess an increased capacity for self-directed research and the ability to discuss, evaluate and creatively deploy secondary critical and theoretical perspectives making use of appropriate scholarly sources;
• identify appropriate research questions and ability to construct original, clear, well-substantiated arguments.
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