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Title: The Postcolonial Midlands
Authors: Kew, Thomas
Supervisors: Fowler, Corinne
Evans, Lucy
Award date: 17-Nov-2017
Presented at: University of Leicester
Abstract: This thesis aims to demonstrate the advantages of shifting the focus of literary criticism about postcolonial and post-war British writing towards regional literary cultures. London has long hosted dominant creative narratives and is also the centre of the UK’s publishing industry. In recent years, the North of England has arguably begun to catch up, with sustained critical attention — most notably Pearce, Fowler and Crashaw’s Postcolonial Manchester (2013) — being devoted to the region’s literary output. Perhaps in part due to its landlocked geography, the Midlands region is too often overlooked and caught in the middle of a critical landscape that tends to reify, and thereby reinforce, the reductive notion of a North–South divide. This thesis therefore heralds the recognition of the Midlands as a fertile site of academic enquiry. With the reassessment of Midlands writing, I hope to offer a richer understanding of how the dynamics of space and place result in distinctive regional literatures. This thesis affords a unique regional optic as the first major study to position the Midlands at the forefront of debates emanating from devolution of literary cultures, literary economy, diaspora and cosmopolitanism. The relationship between region and writer, and the role which literature plays in defining the character of an area, are central to this thesis. My source material is primarily fiction and poetry from the post-war period, supplemented by original interviews and readings of the historical and social sources which provide necessary context. My thesis therefore emerges alongside new critical and creative work which demonstrates the Midlands’ literary abundance.
Type: Thesis
Level: Doctoral
Qualification: PhD
Rights: Copyright © the author. All rights reserved.
Appears in Collections:Leicester Theses
Theses, Dept. of English

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