The Routledge Companion to Eighteenth-Century Literatures in English

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Sarah Eron, Nicole N. Aljoe, Suvir Kaul (ed.), The Routledge Companion to Eighteenth-Century Literatures in English, 2024.

This book brings together essays that respond to consequential cultural and socio-economic changes that followed the expansion of the British Empire from the British Isles across the Atlantic. Scholars track the cumulative power of the slave trade, settlements and plantations, and the continual warfare that reshaped lives in the Americas, Africa, and Asia. Importantly, they also analyze the ways these histories reshaped class and social relations, scientific inquiry and invention, philosophies of personhood, and cultural and intellectual production. As European nations fought each other for territories and trade routes, dispossessing and enslaving Indigenous and Black people, the observations of travellers, naturalists, and colonists helped consolidate racism and racial differentiation, as well as the philosophical justifications of “civilizational” differences that became the hallmarks of intellectual life.

Essays in this volume address key shifts in disciplinary practices even as they examine the past, looking forward to and modeling a rethinking of our scholarly and pedagogic practices. This volume is an essential text for academics, researchers, and students researching eighteenth-century literature, history, and culture.


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