The course discusses aspects of the old world/new world cultural dialogue through the complex and controversial relationship between situations of displacement (dislocation, exile, migration, resettlement, colonial conquest, translocation) and identity (re)construction generative of new, hybrid, richly ambiguous perceptions of both “original” and “marginal” space as translative objects of desire. The focus is on versions of dislocation reflective of the ways in which the exilic subject si supplemented by temporal and spatial memory objects and by the cultural components of an “elsewhere” inevitably re-marked by the dynamics of projection, translation, rewriting, return. Implications of the “new world” utopian constructions and significances of exilic dislocation, discovery, self-renewal and individuation through explorations of otherness are considered from various critical and methodological perspectives effectively employed in contemporary interpretative readings of dislocation issues. Concepts, narrative patters, old/new world conjunctions are examined to illustrate competing and conflicting perspectives on the theme of “otherly” subjects.

The objectives of the course are to help students gain an understanding of the centre-margin dynamics, utopian new world narrative subjects, to introduce them to concepts employed in contemporary critical approaches interpretative of dislocation related topics, to understand the implications of the “transatlantic dialogue”, to respond critically and coherently to critical material, to apply critical concepts in  analyses of  “dislocation” experiences in sample texts in English, to develop skills of written evaluation of  interpretative approaches which incorporates research, argument development and close reading.

Course instructor: Prof Irina Pana


Week 1: Introduction to course. Exercise and essay structure.

Week 2: The subject of “America”

Readings: Mircea Eliade. The Quest. History and Meaning in Religion. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.  1984 (1969).  “Paradise and Utopia: Mythical Geography and Eschatology”. 88-111.

Week 3: New worlds/old worlds.

Readings: Jean Baudrillard. America.  1986. Jean Baudrillard. Strategiile fatale. 1983.

Week 4 The „otherly” subject

Readings: Edward Said. Orientalism.

Week 5:  Fictions of dislocation

Readings: Vesna Goldsworthy. Inventing Ruritania: The Imperialism of the Imagination.  New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998. 

Week 6: Dislocation and narration

Readings: Michael Seidel. Exile and the Narrative Imagination. New Haven: Tale University Press, 1986. “Preface” 9-14.” Postexilic Eminence”. 1-16

Week 7: „Otherly places”

Readings: Jonathan Culler. Framing the Sign; Criticism and its Institutions. Oxford: Blackwell, 1988.  Chapters 9 and 10. „ The Semiotics of Tourism” and „Rubbish Theory”. 153-168

Week 8: Rewriting dislocation

Readings:  Paul Ricoeur. Oneself as Another.  Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1992. “Personal Identity and Narrative Identity”. 112-139. “The Self and Narrative Identity”. 140-167. “Gulliver’s Travels and the Contracts of Fiction” 72-89

Week 9: Retrospective dislocations

Readings:  Peter Brooks. Reading for the Plot: Design and Intention in the Narrative.  Cambridge, Mass. Harvard University Press,  1984.  Chapter 1 „Reading for the Plot” 3-37. Chapter 4 „ Freud’s Masterplot: a Model for Narrative” 90-113.

Week 10: Dislocation plots

Readings: Peter Brooks. Reading for the Plot: Design and Intention in the Narrative.  Cambridge, Mass. Harvard University Press,  1984.  Chapter 5 „ Repetition, Repression and Return: The Plotting of Great Expectations” 113-143. Chapter 9 „An Unreadable Report: Conrad’s Heart of Darkenss” 238-263.

Week 11: Museumizing dislocation subjects

Readings: Benedict Anderson. Imagined Communities.  Cap 10 and 11. „Census, Maps, Museums”. „Memory and Forgetting” 151-190.

Week 12:  Strangely foreign

Readings: Julia Kristeva. Strangers to Ourselves. New York: Columbia Univ Press, 1991. Chapter 1 „Toccata and Fugue for the Foreigner”. Julia Kristeva. Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection.  New York: Columbia University Press, 1982. Chapter 7 „Suffering and Horror” 140-157 

Week 13-14: Revision 


  • A minimum of 50% attendance
  • Oral presentations and responses: 25%
  • Exercises (1000 words) and final essay (essay topics to be discussed with course coordinator): 25%
  • Exam: 50%