Western Promises: 'New Europeans' in British Literature and Culture, by Dr Vedrana Velickovic.
If the fall of the Berlin Wall and the opening of Eastern European borders after 1989 have resulted in a heightened awareness of the region and its citizens, it was their recent presence in Britain that made an impact on public consciousness. The representations of Eastern European workers and economic migrants in British literature, film and media have become increasingly visible. This paper offers some preliminary thoughts on the ways in which contemporary authors and filmmakers represent the Eastern European presence in Britain in the light of recent migration. Given that Britain has engaged with Eastern Europe for centuries, the paper will ask if the contemporary representations still bear traces of the 18th-century discourses of Eastern Europe as a mysterious and uncivilised region, or whether new cross-cultural perspectives are emerging in the work of authors such as Rose Tremain and in black British writing.
Vedrana Velickovic is a lecturer in English Literature at the University of Brighton and teaches on the Joint Honours Programme at Hastings Campus. Her research has focused primarily on the idea of (un)belonging in contemporary black British and post-Yugoslav women’s writing. Her current interests include comparative British and Eastern European literatures with a focus on multiculturalism and migration, life writing, and critical theory, particularly postcolonial and critical race theory. She has published articles and book chapters on Bernardine Evaristo, Dubravka Ugresic and Vesna Goldsworthy, and has given papers at over 10 international conferences.
This seminar will take place in room 4.09 at the University of Brighton, Hastings.