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To Stranger Shores: Travel and Island Motifs in Literature and Film

Silvia Gerlsbeck

Zeit und Ort: Mi 12:15 - 13:45, C 601

The motif of travel and the discovery of desert islands have been prominent in literature ever since Homer’s epos The Odyssey. Islands function as significant spaces in fiction, art and film - not only as scenic locations, but also literary devices that shape narratives. The journeys of the protagonists, their arrivals in new spaces and engagements with others consequently lead to an inevitable exploration and re-fashioning of their sense of self. Looking at these semantically charged places as aesthetic concepts, gendered spaces or places of experimentation also invites reading the texts through the lenses of e.g. gender studies or postcolonial theory, as is attempted in this seminar. We will focus on travel and island motifs from the Renaissance until today as portrayed in literature and film; works discussed will be William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, Caryl Phillips’ Cambridge as well as Danny Boyle’s movie The Beach and Robert Zemecki’s Cast Away.

Empfohlene Literatur
Please purchase the following texts (other editions available), a thorough reading before term is expected:- Shakespeare, William. The Tempest. Eds. Vaughan, Virginia Mason and Alden T. Vaughan. Rev. ed. London: Bloomsbury, 2011.- Defoe, Daniel. “The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner.” Robinson Crusoe. Eds. Thomas Keymer and James Kelly. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007.- Phillips, Cary. Cambridge. New York: Vintage International, 1993.

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