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British Empire-Building


British Empire-Building Atlantic Slave Trade (1650 - 1900): up to 28 million central & west Africans captured & driven to coasts to be sold as slaves – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: British Empire-Building

British Empire-Building
  • Atlantic Slave Trade (1650 - 1900) up to 28
    million central west Africans captured driven
    to coasts to be sold as slaves
  • 1450 and 1850 at least 12 million Africans were
    shipped from Africa to New World--notorious
    "Middle Passage (20 mortality rate)
  • Mid-18th C. British-French wars for control of
    India (Robt. Clive British East India Co.)

British Empire-Building
  • 1789 The Interesting Narrative of the Life of
    Olaudah Equiano, or Gustava Vassa slave
    narrative fuels anti-slavery movement
  • 1792 Slave uprising in Haiti led by Toussant
    L'Ouverture 55,000 blacks,wage guerrilla
    frontal war against British for years.
  • 1795 - 1818 British seize control of Cape
    Colony, South Africa, from Dutch, declare control
    increase Brit. immigration Dutch Boers move
    inland seize land

Abolition Colonization
  • 1833 British abolish slavery in West Indies.
  • 1839-1842 Amistad revolt (basis of 1997
    Spielberg film) launches intense legal,
    political, popular debate over slavery in U.S.
  • 1857-1858 Sepoy Mutiny British Crown takes
    over India
  • 1863 Emancipation of slaves in U.S. amid Civil
  • 1876-77 Queen Victoria declared Empress of India

Exploration Colonization
  • C18 C19 European political, economic,
    scientific interests fuel search for new markets
  • Stage set for European Scramble for Africa
  • 1770 James Bruce (Brit.) reaches source of Blue
  • 1795 1805 Mungo Park (Scot.) explores Niger
  • 1855 David Livingstone (Scot.) explores Zambezi
    River names Victoria Falls

Exploration, Imperialism Racism
  • 1863 British explorers Speke James Augustus
    Grant, traveling downstream, Sir Samuel White
    Baker, working upstream, locate sources of Nile
  • Christian missionaries European merchants come
    with European explorers
  • View of Africans "primitive, pre-literate,
    undeveloped a/c Eurocentric theories of
    evolution of civilized culture.

Mountains of the Moon (1989/90 - R)
  • 1850s East Africa Capt. Richard F. Burton
    (Patrick Bergin) Lt. John Hanning Speke (Iain
    Glen), funded by British Royal Geographical
    Society, set out to discover the source of the
    Nile balanced, uncolonial look at the variety,
    dignity ferocity of African society(-Rita
    Kempley, Washington Post, 23 Mar. 1990)
  • Dir. Bob Rafelson, based on Wm Harrisons
    biographyBurton Speke, Burtons Spekes

Joseph Conrad (1857-1914)
Marlows Conrads 1889-90 journey into Heart
of Darkness
Early Modernism Heart of Darkness
  • Social breakdown, fragmentation lose faith in
    progress, science, religion, politics, bourgeois
  • Alienation from urban bureaucratic society, a
    sterile, materialistic waste land
  • Question, challenge structures of human
    life--e.g. Christianity-challenged as convenient
    fictions created to impose order, meaning on
    random, senseless, violent world

Personal Collective Crisis
  • Mid-1870s Scramble for Africa
  • 1876-1884 King Leopold II (r. Belgium,
    1865-1909) uses Stanley to explore, acquire,
    colonize Congo Free State as his personal
  • 1885 Berlin Conference European powers divide up
  • 1889-90 Conrad goes to Congo captains river
    steamboat to retrieve Klein trauma illness
    haunt him the rest of his life

Heart of Darkness Harrowing Critique of
Western Colonialism
  • 1899, 1902 Heart of Darkness exposes predatory
    European Colonialism its atrocities
  • Brussels whited sepulchre hypocrisy of
    hollow ideals civilizing mission White
    Mans Burden
  • Public opinion turns against jingoism (e.g
    Rudyard Kipling)
  • 1908 Leopold II loses Congo to Belgian
  • 1960 Belgian Congo achieves independence

Mythic Journey
  • Unsettling global correspondences in world
    myths rituals e.g. Frazers Golden Bough A
    Study in Comparative Religion (1890) Westons
    From Ritual to Romance (Fisher king)
  • Carl Jung (1875-1961) all humans share common
    spiritual/ psychic heritage collective
    unconscious, racial memories, archetypes emerge
    in dreams, myth/religion, art literature

Psychological Novel
  • Freud (1856-1939) feeling, unconscious, inward
    journey into self, back into past/ childhood keys
    to understanding human nature/behavior
  • Psychoanalytical method healing through
  • Focus mental life, perceptions of story teller
    and his search for meaning (vs. tale itself)
  • inward journey into dream/nightmare world of
    irrational uncontrollable unconscious

Experimental Forms for Multiple Realities of
  • flow of consciousness memory structures
    narrative associative (vs. linear) logic
    intertwines present awareness memory
  • Interior monologue, stream of conscious-ness,
    flashforward/ flash-back
  • Narrative frame-cf. WH
  • Marlows 1st-person limited narration
    ional connections, introspective

Challenges for Readers
  • Narrator/author suggests/evokes, does not
    explain personal symbol system
  • new, previously forbidden subjects
  • unsettle readers expectations shock out of
  • Open-ended, ironic, multi-layered, inconclusive
  • Process/search/journey meaningful in itself (even
    if goal never reached)
  • Reader must be active co-creator of meaning
    emplot life

The Contract
  • Audience must agree to play the imaginative
    game (suspend disbelief)
  • Atwood ...your life as the writer of each
    particular story is only as long, and as good, as
    the story itself.
  • The speaking voice mediates reader-listeners
    access to the story, but it is
  • double-voiced dialogue (Bakhtin) between teller
    listener each with active roles in making

Genre Theory (gt Aristotle)
  • Genre (gtFrench) a type of literary work with
    defining conventions audience expectations
  • Genres develop in response to particular
    cultural, communi-cation, creative situations
  • Literary genres evolve like social institutions
    their conventions/codes emerge, develop, change
    over time, reflecting the (changing) values,
    imagination, spirit of an age, culture, artist

Genre History Dialogues with Tradition
  • Once you start making...rules,some writer will
    be sure to happen
  • along and break every abstract rule you or anyone
    else ever thought up, and take your breath away
    in the process. The word should is dangerous.
    Its a kind of challenge to the deviousness and
    inventive-ness and audacity and perversity of the
    creative spirit --Margaret Atwood

High ModernismEarly 20th century Post -WW I
  • Decline of West Catastrophe of WWI shook faith
    in Western civilization its cultural values
  • Radical break from traditional structures of
    Western culture art
  • Artists sought new forms to render contemporary
    disorder alienation
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