The cultural construction and literary representation of national characters. A critical survey


Volume Editors: Manfred Beller and Joep Leerssen
How do national stereotypes emerge? To which extent are they determined by historical or ideological circumstances, or else by cultural, literary or discursive conventions? This first inclusive critical compendium on national characterizations and national (cultural or ethnic) stereotypes contains 120 articles by 73 contributors. Its three parts offer [1] a number of in-depth survey articles on ethnic and national images in European literatures and cultures over many centuries; [2] an encyclopedic survey of the stereotypes and characterizations traditionally ascribed to various ethnicities and nationalities; and [3] a conspectus of relevant concepts in various cultural fields and scholarly disciplines. The volume as a whole, as well as each of the articles, has extensive bibliographies for further critical reading. Imagologyis intended both for students and for senior scholars, facilitating not only a first acquaintance with the historical development, typology and poetics of national stereotypes, but also a deepening of our understanding and analytical perspective by interdisciplinary and comparative contextualization and extensive cross-referencing.

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”Few scholarly works summarize the aims, methods, and achievements of their field as meticulously, succinctly and successfully as this impressive one-volume encyclopediacum ‘critical survey’ of comparative ‘Imagology’.” in: Comparative Critical Studies, 6.2 (2009), 281-5
Introductory survey articles
Manfred BELLER: Perception, image, imagology
Joep LEERSSEN: Imagology: History and method
Wilfried NIPPEL: Ethnic images in classical antiquity
Peter HOPPENBROUWERS: Medieval peoples imagined
Joep LEERSSEN: The poetics and anthropology of national character, 1500-2000
Images of nations surveyed
Relevant concepts, related disciplines
Bibliographical appendix