This is a Pathway Approved Option for the World and Comparative Literature Pathway and one of the Distributional Requirements for the English, Theory, and North American Pathways for 2015/16.
Module Convenor: Dr Ross G. Forman
Seminars: Thursdays, 1.00-2.30pm, 2.30pm-4.00pm (H522)
[This is a seminar-based module, with no lectures.]
Office Hours (H.539): For the rest of term 3, I will be holding office hours on different days. Please email me at email@example.com for an appointment.
This module explores how Britons ‘in empire’ and at home (and their ‘subjects’) imagined East and Southeast Asia and the Pacific during the Victorian and Edwardian periods. Although concentrating on fiction, it surveys a range of representations, including travel writing, theatre, and essays to expose the various contexts and concerns that shaped Britain’s understanding of these geographical regions and, to some extent, how people in Asia reacted to Britain and the British. The module trains students in historical and cultural approaches to reading literary texts. Topics covered include inter-imperial rivalries; the representation of tea and other commodities; the rise of ethnographic expositions featuring Asian and Pacific food and handicrafts; and late-nineteenth-century interest in East Asian aesthetics.
By the end of the module, you should be able to:
- Understand the trajectory of imperialism in Asia and the South Pacific and its influence on Anglophone literatures and cultures during the long nineteenth century.
- Build knowledge about the growth of literacy in English and about Indian writing in English during the period.
- Place British imperialism in Asia and the South Pacific in a comparative context and grasp the concepts of ‘informal imperialism,’ ‘gunboat diplomacy,’ and miscegenation.
- Develop appropriate critical skills with which to analyze popular literary forms, such as the adventure novel and travel narrative.
- Apply a knowledge of critical methodologies such as gender studies, postcolonial studies, and cultural studies to the set texts.
- Improve your ability to develop a topic of your own choosing and to undertake independent research involving primary and secondary sources.
(ALSO, AS THE MIDDLE OF THE NOVEL CAN BE VERY REPETITIVE, YOU MAY WANT TO SKIM SOME PARTS OF THE NOVEL.)
Please purchase the following texts for 2015/6. The other readings are available on the module page as pdfs.
Many readings are available to download from www.archive.org.
Philip Meadows Taylor, Confessions of a Thug.
[Rupa edition, available from Amazon, is the cheapest. There is a good but expensive edition from Cognella, edited by Matthew Kaiser. An e-version of the novel can be downloaded from www.archive.org]*
Flora Annie Steel and Grace Gardiner, The Complete Indian Housekeeper. [Oxford edition recommended]
Rudyard Kipling, Kim.
Leonard Woolf, A Village in the Jungle.
Thomas De Quincey, Confessions of an English Opium-Eater [Oxford World Classics edition recommended.]
Multatuli, Max Havelaar. [Penguin Classics Edition.]
Isabella Bird, The Golden Chersonese and the Way Thither. [Stanfords Travel Classics edition recommended.]
Joseph Conrad, An Outcast of the Islands.
José Rizal, Noli Me Tangere. [Penguin Classics Edition.]
A.B. Mitford, Tales of Old Japan. [Dover edition preferred.]
Philip Meadows Taylor, Confessions of a Thug
Required Critical Reading:
Mary Poovey, 'Ambiguity and Historicism'
Taylor, Confessions of a Thug
Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins, The Perils of Certain English Prisoners;
Chapter 4 of Crispin Bates, Subalterns and Raj: South Asia since 1600 (Routledge, 2007) 56-79
Flora Annie Steel and Grace Gardiner, The Complete Indian Housekeeper
I. Duties of the Mistress
V. Hints on Breakfasts, etc.
VI. Duties of the Servants
XII. Hints on Camp Life
XIX. Hints on Outfits
XXX. Advice to the Cook
XLII. Native Dishes]
Rudyard Kipling, Kim
Required Critical Reading:
Edward Said, Introduction to Penguin edition
Leonard Woolf, A Village in the Jungle
William Knighton, excerpts from Forest Life in Ceylon
Term 2: British Engagements with East and Southeast Asia
Required Critical Reading:
Isabella Bird, The Golden Chersonese and the Way Thither
From Eddie Tay, Colony, Nation, and Globalisation: Not at Home in Singaporean and Malaysian Literature
Joseph Conrad, An Outcast of the Island
José Rizal, Noli Me Tangere
Benedict Anderson, 'The First Filipino,' from Benedict Anderson, The Spectre of Comparisons
Juan de Castro, ' En qué idioma escribe Ud.?': Spanish, Tagolog, and Identity in José Rizal's Noli Me Tangere
Joseph McLaughlin, '"The Japanese Village" and the Metropolitan Construction of Modernity'
China Tales, from a range of British expatriates in China, including James Dalziel, Lise Boehm, the Ching-Ching Chinese detective penny dreadful series, and Grant Allen.
[Allen's "Mr Chung" is a short story by published under a pseudonym in 1882 in the Belgravia Christmas Annual, 67-80, and republished in the anthology Strange Stories in 1884.]
Methods of Assessment
2 x 5,000-word essays (100% Assessed) plus an unassessed presentation
Banerjee, Sukanya. Becoming Imperial Citizens: Indians in the Late-Victorian Empire. Durham: Duke UP, 2010.
Boehmer, Elleke. Colonial and Postcolonial Literatures: Migrant Metaphors. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2005.
BRANCH: Britain, Representation, and Nineteenth-Century History, http://www.branchcollective.org/. [A huge collective project with articles on over 100 topics written by top scholars from around the world.]
Buettner, Elizabeth. Empire Families: Britons and Late Imperial India. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2004.
Chang, Elizabeth. Britain's Chinese Eye: Literature, Empire, and Aesthetics in Nineteenth-century Britain. Stanford: Stanford UP, 2010.
The Encyclopedia of Victorian Literature. Ed Dino Franco Felluga, Pamela K. Gilbert, and Linda K. Hughes. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2015.
Edmond, Rod. Representing the South Pacific: Colonial Discourse from Cook to Gaugin. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2005.
Finkelstein, David, and Douglas Peers, eds. Negotiating India in Nineteenth-century Media. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2000.
Forman, Ross G. China and the Victorian Imagination: Empires Entwined. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2013.
Francis, Andrew. Culture and Commerce in Conrad's Asian Fiction. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2015.
GoGwilt, Christopher. The Fiction of Geopolitics. Stanford: Stanford UP, 2000.
Hultgren, Neil. Melodramatic Imperial Writing: From the Sepoy Rebellion to Cecil Rhodes. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2014.
Jolly, Rosyln. Robert Louis Stevenson in the Pacific: Travel, Empire, and the Author's Profession. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2009.
Joshi, Priya. In Another Country: Colonialism, Culture, and the English Novel in India. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2000.
Keevak, Michael. Becoming Yellow: A Short History of Racial Thinking. Princeton: Princeton UP, 2011.
Moore, Grace, ed. Pirates and Mutineers of the Nineteenth Century. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2011.
Mukherjee, Pablo. Crime and Empire: Representing India in the Nineteenth-Century. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2003.
Patke, Rajeev S., and Philip Holden. The Routledge Concise History of Southeast Asian Writing in English. London: Routledge, 2010.
Schmitt, Cannon. Alien Nation: Nineteenth-century Gothic Fictions and English Nationality. Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P, 1997.
Sinha, Mrinalini. Colonial Masculnity: The 'Manly Englishman' and the "Effeminate Bengali' in the Late Nineteenth Century. Manchester: Manchester UP, 1995.
Suleri, Sara. The Rhetoric of British India. 1992. London: Penguin, 2005.
Thurin, Susan. Victorian Travelers and the Opening of China, 1842-1907. Athens: Ohio UP, 1999.
Tickell, Alex. Terrorism, Insurgency and Indian-English Literature, 1830-1947. New York: Routledge, 2012.
Wolpert, Stanley. A New History of India. 8th ed. New York: Oxford UP, 2008.