Victorian Literature and Postcolonial Studies

Victorian Literature and Postcolonial Studies

Victorian Literature and Postcolonial Studies

Victorian Literature and Postcolonial Studies

Synopsis

Adopting a postcolonial perspective, this survey traces the influence of the British Empire on nineteenth-century British literature, closely reading the work of several major Victorian authors: Dickens, Eliot, Charlotte Brontë, Disraeli, Tennyson, Yeats, Kipling, and Conrad. The book discusses pro-imperialist themes and attitudes in works by major Victorian authors and the attempts at resistance to and criticisms of the Empire, such as abolitionism and nationalism. Grounding its argument in nineteenth-century literary texts, the volume illuminates several major debates central to imperial and postcolonial studies. They concern imperial historiography and Marxism, gender and race, Orientalism, mimicry, and subalternity and representation.

Excerpt

Postcolonial Literary Studies foregrounds the colonial and neo-colonial contexts of literary and cultural texts, and demonstrates how these texts help to understand past and present histories of empires. The books in the series relate key literary and cultural texts both to their historical and geographical moments, and to contemporary issues of neo-colonialism and global inequality. In addition to introducing the diverse body of postcolonial criticism, theory and scholarship in literary studies, the series engages with relevant debates on postcolonialism in other disciplines — history, geography, critical theory, political studies, economics and philosophy. The books in the series exemplify how postcolonial studies can re-configure the major periods and areas of literary studies. Each book provides a comprehensive survey of the existing field of scholarship and debate with a time line, a literature survey, discussion of key critical, theoretical, historical and political debates, case studies providing exemplary critical readings of key literary texts, and guides to further reading. At the same time, each book is also an original critical intervention in its own right. In much the same way that feminism has re-defined how all literary texts are analyzed, our ultimate aim is that this series will contribute to all texts in literary studies being read with an awareness of their colonial and neo-colonial resonances.

D. J. and A. L.

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