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Title: The institutions of literary colonialism : George Eliot, Anthony Trollope, and the Cape Colony
Author: Da Silva, Sarah Janine
ISNI:       0000 0004 6348 0945
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis is an investigation into the formation of white belonging in South Africa, focalised through what I call the institutions of literary colonialism – the public library, the postal service, and the colonial press. I also use George Eliot and Anthony Trollope, both of whom had personal connections to South Africa, as case studies. Their interactions with the three institutions of literary colonialism allow me to situate their works within the colonial institutional setting of which they formed a part, and also facilitate an investigation into how the exercise of white power over the indigenous African population was aided by literary and cultural institutions. However, rather than tracing a history of white settlement in the Cape, this thesis argues that white belonging was founded on a sense of unsettlement and ambivalence, which was articulated through the institutions of literary colonialism. At the heart of this project is a tension between the Cape colonists’ desire to imitate and emulate British literary practices, whilst at the same time begin to articulate a sense of ‘colonial nationalism’ though the development of white settler literary culture, institutions and forms of knowledge. I argue that this tension was the driving force behind the development of the Cape’s literary culture. Whilst the remoteness and insularity of the Cape meant that its cultural institutions were dependant on imported metropolitan cultural norms and products, its distance from the metropole also enabled the development of a distinct and unique literary culture. I explore this entanglement of desires for colonial autonomy and for sustained connections to Britain by interrogating how literary culture was ‘made’ in the Cape Colony.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available