Reconceiving the British Isles: The Literature of the Archipelago

Series Editor’s Introduction from John Brannigan 

The growing strength of contemporary scholarship in Scottish, Irish and Welsh literatures in English in the twentieth century demands new critical histories of twentieth-century literature in the British Isles which reflect contemporary critical perspectives, and which avoid an Anglo-centric narrative. Such an archipelagic approach has been developed in recent decades in relation to seventeenth-century literature and history, but has rarely been attempted in relation to twentieth-century literature, the study of which has been dominated firstly by Anglo-centric narratives (in which Yeats and Joyce were seen as exemplary of metropolitan modernism, for instance), and later by national narratives (in which Yeats and Joyce were seen predominantly in relation to Irish national traditions). This series of lectures is designed to provide exemplary archipelagic narratives of twentieth-century literature, reflecting the post-devolutionary cultural contexts of the study of English in the British Isles, while remaining sensitive to what is distinctive about the linguistic, cultural and political histories of literature in each of the constituent parts of the archipelago.

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