English Literature and Slavery 1772-1834:

From the Beginning of the Abolitionist Movement to the Abolition of Slavery 

 

Innovative aspect:

  • critical analysis of literary and non-literary texts written at and around identified key dates (1772, 1787, 1807, and 1834)
  • thorough reappraisal of the discourse on slavery in Great Britain during this period
  • focus on paradigmatic changes in the discourse on slavery, rhetorical and aesthetic strategies in texts of different genres, identification of argumentative patterns – e.g. moral, religious, economic, political, ethnic, social, and scientific - in these texts by British writers, terminology employed

Goals:

In addition to already existing material in anthologies it will be attempted

  • to add texts written around key dates (not included in anthologies)
  • to gather an eclectic but significant text corpus
  • to show argumentative patterns in the discourse on slavery with help of critical discourse analysis informed by deconstructive postcolonial reading practices
  • to answer the questions: how was the new paradigm of anti-slavery introduced and the paradigm shift brought about?

Methodology:

  • Analysis of rhetorical and aesthetic strategies in texts of different genres by closely studying the argumentative areas – e.g. moral, religious, economic, political, ethnic, social, and scientific
  • Analysis of central terms used in texts by British writers dealing with the topic
  • In-depth study of the paradigm shift from pro- to anti-slavery discourse in literary and non-literary texts written at and around identified key dates
  • Diachronic and synchronic analysis
  • critical discourse analysis informed by deconstructive postcolonial reading practices and methods of ideological criticism

International Co-operation:

  • Prof. David Dabydeen (library at Warwick University)
  • Prof. Edwin Thumboo (National University of Singapore)
  • Prof. Michael Kenneally (Concordia University Montreal)
  • Prof. Nandan Satendra (University of Fiji)
  • Prof. Santosh Sareen (University of New Delhi)

Participants:

  • Prof. Wolfgang Zach
  • Dr. Ulrich Pallua
  • Mag. Adrian Knapp
  • Mag. Cynthia Rauth

For further information see MS Word IconEnglish Literature and Slavery-Introduction  

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