Project: Narratives of Empire

In this project we study how postcolonial and decolonial ideas are conveyed in popular culture.

Director: Johan Höglund
Project Members: Johan Höglund
Funding organisation: Swedish Research Council (2010-2015)
Timetable: 2010-2020
Faculty: Faculty of Arts and Humanities
Subjects: English, Film studies, Literature, History
Research Centre: Linnaeus University Centre for Concurrences in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies

About the project

This comparative and multimodal project uses postcolonial and decolonial theory to map the way that popular culture conveys colonial and decolonial sentiments and discourses in three different geographical and temporal settings.

The first of this is the well-researched late Victorian and Edwardian period during the climax of the British Empire. In relation to this, the project has explored the way that eugenics and other racialized discourses and practices were voiced by gothic writers such as Bram Stoker and Richard Marsh.

The second setting focuses the US from the late eighteenth century to the present and studies the strong connection between the development of American gothic literature and culture and the expansion of US imperialism.

The third setting is Northern Scandinavia from the late nineteenth century to the present. The focus here is primarily on the colonisation by the Swedish state of the indigenous Saami and how this relationship has been described in literature, film and other forms of culture.

The project has been underway since 2010 and is housed within LNUC Concurrences since 2012. Extensive results accounting have been published for the first two historical and geographical settings in international journals such as English Literature in Transition, Game Studies, The European Journal of American Studies and Continuum. The project has also produced a number of books, including the monograph The American Imperial Gothic (Routledge 2014), Transnational and Postcolonial Vampires: Dark Blood, ed. Johan Höglund and Tabish Khair (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), and Animal Horror Cinema: Genre, History and Criticism, ed. Johan Höglund, Katarina Gregersdotter and Nicklas Hållén (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012).