Summer Term 2020

Imperial Fictions: From Romantic Orientalism to Contemporary Neo-Orientalism

Tina Helbig, M.A.

Fr. 10-12 c. t.

In his seminal text, Orientalism (1978), Edward Said examines the construction of the antagonistic and yet interdependent concepts of the ‘Occident’ and the ‘Orient’. In this seminar, we will analyse Western (mis)representations of the ‘Orient’, from the Romantic and Victorian eras through to contemporary Islamophobia and Neo-Orientalism. We will analyse a broad range of media and genres – paintings, poetry, novels, comics, videogames and newspaper articles. Please read Marsh’s novel The Beetle (1897) before the start of the semester; a reader (ca. 80 pages) with short excerpts from other works (see below) will be provided online.

Texts: Richard Marsh, The Beetle (1897). Excerpts: Edward Said, Orientalism (1978); Samuel Taylor Coleridge, “Kubla Khan” (1816); Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre (1847); Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness (1899); Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. 1 (2000); Craig Thompson, Habibi (2011); Matthew Vaughn (dir.), Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014); Ubisoft, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2003); Ubisoft, Assassin’s Creed (2007).