In this public lecture, Dr. Ulrike Koehler will examine variations of an English self-image in four genres of English Romanticism (the Gothic novel, the travelogue, the political essay, and the ballad) and the genre-specific elements that evoke the self-image. She will explore how generic elements that do not exhibit a visible national connotation can nonetheless contribute to the construction of a national image. These elements, which have so far been largely overlooked by the imagological radar, can be fruitfully analysed by adopting a production-oriented approach that combines a context-sensitive close reading method and integrates aspects of narratology, reception theory and cultural memory studies into the imagological analysis.
Brief Biography of Dr. Ulrike Koehler, the Institute of English Studies, Leuphana University (Lüneburg, Germany)
Ulrike Koehler is a post-doctoral scholar in English literature at the Leuphana University, Lueneburg. While her teaching focuses on English literature, her research interests include German and Italian literature. Her most recent work assessed the English self-image by examining several genres in English Romanticism. Notably important to her work was the study of genre-specific variations of the image and in her work she demonstrates the contribution of this work to a larger understanding of Romantic studies as well as to imagology, the theoretical approach dedicated to the analysis of national images in literature. She argues that generic elements without national connotations can nonetheless contribute towards creating a national image and illustrates how aspects of various theoretical approaches can be integrated into the imagological toolkit to effectively analyze these generic elements. Her current project explores lyrics in late eighteenth-century text-only British song-books. She argues that these largely unexplored collections function as a multi-facetted cultural nexus and represent rewarding material for the field of literary studies.