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ENGL 440 A: Special Studies In Literature

The Imperial Romance

Meeting Time: 
TTh 11:30am - 1:20pm
ARC 160
Close up of Laura Chrisman
Laura Chrisman

Additional Details:

English 440A. Special Studies in Literature.
‘The Imperial Romance’.

This class examines the enduring popular genre of the imperial romance, which stretches from the 19th century to the present day (as seen in the Indiana Jones film franchise). The genre harnesses the romance mode-- including a regenerative quest, marvelous episodes, coincidences, hazardous landscape, limited characterisation, and heroic triumph over a series of increasingly difficult challenges--to the project of empire building. We explore its roots in the British Empire, where it generated British chivalric heroes, magnificent African warriors, faithful African servants, demonic African ‘witchdoctors’, big game hunting, hidden treasure and ancient civilizations. Despite its structural ideological conservatism, the imperial romance has proved attractive to African American and African writers. We look at the ways in which the genre has been adopted and adapted by black writers to advance ideas of racial liberation and self-determination.

Primary texts may include H. Rider Haggard’s King Solomon’s Mines; Pauline Hopkins’ Of One Blood; Solomon T. Plaatje’s Mhudi.

Catalog Description: 
Themes and topics offering special approaches to literature.
GE Requirements: 
Arts and Humanities (A&H)
Other Requirements Met: 
Last updated: 
March 16, 2016 - 11:20am