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The University of Southampton
Lifelong Learning

The Literary Legacy of the British Empire

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The Literary Legacy of the British Empire

‘The British Empire’ was a project which irrevocably changed the world and left an extensive literary and cultural legacy, evidence of which can be found in now-canonical literature. Over six weeks, this course offers the opportunity to interrogate well-known classics as well as modern novels which constitute a part of the literature of ‘the British Empire’. In week one, we introduce students to nineteenth-century British Imperialism through literature and cultural artefacts pertaining to the Great Exhibition of 1851. In week two, we read a number of canonical nineteenth-century novels which briefly cover the literary representation of ‘the British Empire’ in popular fiction from 1851 to 1901. Weeks three and four focus on imperial adventure fiction and the anxiety over the end of the Empire which characterised the close of the century. In the final two weeks, we turn to two novels written in the last twenty years by Indian and Pakistani-British authors in order to understand the legacy of ‘the British Empire’ in current literature and culture. To watch a taster for the course, click here.

Tutor: Emma Hills

Course dates: Tuesday 26 April to Tuesday 31 May 2022

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