The sublime, imperialism and the African landscape
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In this dissertation the author argued for a postcolonial reading of the sublime that takes into account the racial and gendered underpinnings of Immanuel Kant's and Edmund Burke's classic theories. The thesis used the understanding of the sublime as a lens for an analysis of the cultural politics of landscape in a range of late imperial and early modern texts about Africa. A re-reading of Henry Morton Stanley's central African exploration narratives, John Buchan's African fiction and political writing, and later texts such as Alan Paton's fiction, autobiographies and travel writing, together with an analysis of colonial mountaineering discourse, suggest that non-metropolitan discourses of the sublime, far from being an outmoded rhetoric, could manage and contain the contradictions inherent in the aesthetic appreciation and appropriation of contested colonial landscapes.