Imperial Entanglements and Literature in English


  • Fakrul Alam, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh


Britain’s imperial involvement has been extremely problematic for the people affected by them over the centuries but it has also been mostly productive for literature in English. Whether in mainstream English literature or the literatures written in English in the once colonised regions, works of lasting value have been created right from the time England began to acquire an overseas empire in the seventeenth century through its consolidation in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and eventual dismantling in the twentieth century. This paper traces the impact of the acquisition and consolidation of the British empire on creative writing in the English language over the centuries and till decolonisation began. It goes on to show, too, how decades after the end of the empire both British writers and non-British writers from the decolonised regions are continuing to use the English language effectively to write imaginatively about issues directly or indirectly connected to the rise and fall of the British empire and its lingering presence in our time.


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Author Biography

Fakrul Alam, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh

Dr. Fakrul Alam is Professor of English at the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. He has been a Fulbright Scholar and a Visiting Associate Professor at Clemson University, USA, and has also been Visiting Professor at Jadavpur University, India. He is the author of Imperial Entanglements and Literature in English (Dhaka:, 2007), South Asian Writers in English (Detroit: Thomson Gale, 2006), Jibananada Das: Selected Poems (Dhaka: UPL, 1999), Bharati Mukherjee (Boston: Twayne’s Contemporary United States Authors, 1996), and Daniel Defoe: Colonial Propagandist (Dhaka: University of Dhaka Publications, 1989). He was editor of Dhaka University Studies, Part A (Humanities) and the Asiatic Society Journal. He was also a member of the jury of the Commonwealth Writers Prize for 2003 (Eurasia region).




How to Cite

Alam, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh, F. (2008). Imperial Entanglements and Literature in English. Asiatic: IIUM Journal of English Language and Literature, 2(2), 25–37. Retrieved from