Starting from the definition of imagology or image studies as a branch of comparative literature which deals with the study of the representation of national or racial Others in literature, viewed not as essences but as relations (attitudes and perceptions) between two cultural spaces, the course will explore -auto-, hetero-, and meta –images,-stereotypes and imagotypes in  British and American literary texts. It will discuss the boundaries between Self and Other based on language, blood, ethnicity , race, religion, territory, political orientation, social organization. The course will also refer to related disciplines and relevant concepts: such as Colonialism/Post-Colonialism, Body, Gender, Cartographyand will discuss North-American hetero-images of the French; British hetero-images of the Scots and Irish, Auto- and Hetero-Images of Amerindians, British and North American hetero-images of ethnic groups such as Asian, Indian and West Indies Immigrants, Romanians, Gypsies, Jews.

Course instructor: Prof Monica Bottez


Week 1: Imagology – definition and concepts.

Readings: Beller, Manfred and Joep Leerssen (eds). Imagology. The Cultural Construction and Literary Representation of National Characters. Amsterdam-NewYork, NY: Rodopi, 2007; Baudrillard, Jean & Marc Guillaume. Figuri ale alteritatii.  Bucuresti: Paralela 45,2002.

Week 2:  Imagology: brief history; main representatives

Readings: Joep Leersen,”Imagology: History and Method”. In Beller, Manfred and Joep Leerssen (eds). Imagology. The Cultural Construction and Literary Representation of National Characters. Amsterdam-New York, NY: Rodopi, 2007.

Week 3: The Launching of National Myths; British and American auto-images and hetero-images of each other in a selection of novels/plays

Readings: Anderson, Benedict. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism, “Patriotism and Racism”, New York: Verso, 1991, pp. 141-154; Leerssen, Joep. ”Echoes and Images: Reflections upon Foreign Spaces”. Alterity, Identity, Image- Selves and Others in Society and Scholarship. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1991, pp. 123-138. Novels: Byatt, Antonia. Possession; Lodge, David. Changing Places; Amis, Martin. Money; Mailer, Norman. An American Dream; GB Shaw. John Bull’s Other Island

Week 4: Imagology: Related Disciplines and Relevant Concepts (anthropology, cliché, East/West, North/South, Orientalism, Occidentalism); North American  hetero-images of the British

Readings: Beller and Leesen: Imagology, 2007; Todorov, Tzvetan. Noi si Celalalti. Iasi: Institutul European, 1999. Novels: Duncan, Sara Jeanette, The Imperialist, Toronto: McClelland & Steward Inc., 1990; Wiebe Rudy. A Discovery of Strangers. Toronto: Vintage Books 1995.

Week 5: Related Disciplines and Relevant Concepts (Colonialism/Postcolonialism, Body, Gender, Cartography; Romanians ,  Gypsies, Jews)

Readings: Beller and Leersen: Imagology, 2007; Moran, Joe, Interdisciplinarity, pp. 114-122, 137-141,London and New York: Routledge, 2002. Novels: Radu, Kenneth. The Devil is Clever or Sapergia, Barbara. Foreigners; Richler, Mordecai. The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz; Lee, Ronald. Goddam Gypsy

Week 6: North-American  self- and hetero-images of Afro-Americans – 2novels

Readings: Pageaux, Daniel Henri. “De l’imagologie a la theorie en litterature compare, elements de reflexion”. Europa provincial mundi. Essays in Comparative Literature and European Studies,. Eds. Joep Leerssen & M. Soringh. Amsterdam: Rodopi,1991,pp 297-306. Novels: Ellison, Ralph: Invisible Man; Morrison, Toni:  Beloved, The Bluest Eye

Week 7: North-American hetero-images the French; British hetero-images of the Scots and Irish – 2 titles

Readings: Levinas, Emmanuel. Intre noi: Incercare de a-l gandi pe celalalt. Bucuresti: All, 2000: “Determinare filozofica a ideii de cultura”, 181-208 ; ”Drepturile omului si bunavointa”, 209-213; “Dialog despre a-l gandi pe celalatlt”, 214-223 ; “Celalalt, utopie si justitie”, 228-238. Novels: Chopin, Kate. A Night in Acadia (volume of short stories ; « Desiree’s Baby »); MacLennan, Hugh. Two Solitudes; Walter Scott: Ivanhoe, Rob Roy; GB Shaw: John Bull’s Other Island

Weeks 8-9: Auto- and Hetero-Images of Amerindians ; stereotypes and stereotypes deconstructed – 2 novels

Readings: Goldie, Terry, “The Representation of the Indigene” in The Post-Colonial Studies Reader, pp. 232-236. Novels: Cooper, J.F. The Last of the Mohicans; Faulkner, William. The Bear; Erdrich, Louise. Love Medicine or Beet Queen; Kroetsch, Robert. Gone Indian; Cohen, Leonard. Beautiful Losers

Week 10: British and North American hetero-images of ethnic groups (Asian, Indian and West Indies Immigrants, Romanians, Gypsies, Jews) – 2 novels

Readings: Novels: Bissoondath, Neil. A Casual Brutality; Smith, Zadie: White Teeth; Kureishi, Hanif: The Budha of Suburbia; Hage, Rawi: Cockroach; Updike, John: Terrorist; Radu, Kenneth: Flesh and Blood/The Devil Is Clever. A memoir of Y Romanian Mother; Sapergia,,Barbara: Foreigners


  • A minimum of 50% attendance
  • 33 % class participation: presentation of one theoretical article or discussion of one novel from an imagological perspective
  • 66%  final written test (concepts and images discussed; books, articles, novels)