Englishness, National Identity, literature, Conrad, Kipling, Meadows Taylor, Defoe, Edgeworth
This project is divided into two parts. The purpose of the first part was to construct, research and write a substantial historical thesis paper on a topic relevant to nationalism and national identity in Modern European history. The purpose of the second part was to research and explore the process of publishing a historical paper in an academic journal.
In reference to the first part of the project, the thesis paper concerns English national identity as represented by several renowned and well-read English authors in their works of literature. In doing so, the paper considers the characteristics, norms, and structures of English identity within English novels, thereby also working to consider the use of fictional literature as a source of historical evidence. More specifically, the paper looks closely at English novels which feature the depiction of English characters who, throughout the story, come into contact with non-English, non-European, and non-white characters and how such examples of confrontation between established Englishness and otherness works to more clearly define the characteristics, norms and structures of a perceived English identity. The paper features the analysis of several famous works of English literature first published between the early eighteenth and early twentieth century, a timeline which constitutes an era of widespread English influence in foreign lands. The authors and their books which are covered by this paper include Daniel Defoe’s (1660-1731) Robinson Crusoe (1719), Maria Edgeworth's (1768-1849) Belinda (1801), Philip Meadows Taylor’s (1808-1876) Tippoo Sultan: A Tale of the Mysore War (1840) and Seeta (1873), Joseph Conrad’s (1857-1924) Heart of Darkness (1899) and Rudyard Kipling’s (1865-1936) Kim (1901).
The purpose of the second portion of this project was to research the process of publishing a historical paper, specifically looking into publishing time frames, paper requirements, steps prior to a paper's admission, and publisher’s guidelines and applications. As a student of history looking into a career in academics, the second part of the project was ultimately meant to gain a practical understanding of publishing historical papers.