ENG 4590: Shipwrecked: Castaways and Colonial Fantasies

ENG 4590

Fall 2022

Title: Shipwrecked: Castaways and Colonial Fantasies

Dr. Anna Muenchrath (muenchrathal@appstate.edu)


The history of world literature is filled with stories of shipwrecks, followed either by (often harrowing) encounters with the “other” or an attempt to establish a utopic civilization from scratch. From historical wrecks to speculative (space) ships, we’ll read these stories (and many of their retellings) as both examples of variations on a theme, and as a way of asking some of the following questions: What does it mean to create a “new world”? What is the role of the “island” as a topos in these stories? How do these stories (often simultaneously) articulate fantasies of emancipation, sovereignty and colonization? Who gets to tell these stories? And why have authors across various times and places found these stories to be so uniquely iterable?

Poster for English 4590
Published: Feb 27, 2022 12:19pm