Guest Lecture: Kai Wiegandt (Tübingen), 04.02.21,, c.t.

Kai Wiegandt (Tübingen)

Neo-Imperial Gothic: Western Migrant Fiction’s Imagination of Reverse Domination

Thursday, 4 Feb 21, 6 pm, c.t. Zoom

Late nineteenth and early twentieth century reverse colonization narratives, subsumed under the rubric ‘imperial gothic’ by Patrick Brantlinger, featured invasions from the colonial periphery to the imperial centre. This paper argues that recent decades have seen the emergence of similar ‘reverse domination narratives’. The narratives feature the migration of professionals from the Global North to the new economic centres in the Global South, where the migrants occupy subservient, quasi-colonised positions. As in the case of nineteenth century reverse colonization narratives, gothic elements underpin the reversal of dominance. I read the narratives as symptoms of Northern anxiety of losing economic, political and cultural influence to regions perceived as threats to global dominance.

Kai Wiegandt is Heisenberg Lecturer at the English Department of the University of Tübingen. In April 2021 he will start as Professor of Literature at the Barenboim-Said Akademie in Berlin. He studied English and German literature and philosophy at Universität Freiburg, Yale University and at Freie Universität Berlin and is the author of Crowd and Rumour in Shakespeare(Ashgate 2012) and J.M. Coetzee’s Revisions of the Human: Posthumanism and Narrative Form (Palgrave 2019). He has published on early modern, modernist and postcolonial as well as world literature. In 2014 he was elected member of the German Young Academy at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina.