3.02.471 S From 'South Seas' Fictions to Pacific Island Writing


  • Di , 24.01.2017 08:00 - 13:00
  • Do , 15.12.2016 08:00 - 10:00
  • Do , 26.01.2017 08:00 - 13:00
  • Fr , 27.01.2017 08:00 - 13:00
  • Mi , 25.01.2017 08:00 - 12:00


The ‘South Seas’ have figured as an exotic location that inspired a wide range of artists, such as painters like Paul Gauguin or writers like Herman Melville or Robert Louis Stevenson. Much 19th-century art that engages with this geographically remote region presents the ‘South Seas’ as a lush and alluring paradise. These images have deeply influenced the public perception of Pacific Island nations in Europe and the USA. From the late-20th century, however, Pacific Islanders themselves have gained access to the global literary market and produced a variety of literary works that counter previous representations of their cultures.

In this seminar, we will take a closer look at representations of the South Pacific and its people in fictional literature. We will discuss how common (sometimes still prevailing) conceptions of the islands and their inhabitants have been shaped by colonial discourse and analyse the representational strategies and formal specificities of two pertinent 19th-century texts. After that we will turn to contemporary Pacific Island Writing, including novels, short stories and poetry. We will explore not only the topics that interest authors from Pacific Island nations (e.g. the repercussions of colonization, effects of neo-colonialism/capitalism, militarization, tourism, and environmental problems such as rising sea levels) but also the authors’ aesthetic and formal choices.

A reading list will be provided in the first session.

The first session will be on December 15th (Thursday) 08:00 - 10:00, Location: A04 4-419

The following sessions will be held in February en bloc.

Suggestion to be discussed and determined in the first session: either 3 sessions á 7 hours (including 1 hr break) or 4 sessions á 5 hours (including 30min break). Dates: Thursday Feb. 2nd – Saturday Feb. 4th/Sunday Feb. 5th

Students interested in participating must attend the first session!



  • ang971 Culture and Difference
  • ang972 Culture and Difference
  • ang973 Culture and Difference


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