Brexit, Erewhon, and Utopia

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Title: Brexit, Erewhon, and Utopia
Authors: Fermanis, Porscha
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Date: 1-Jun-2021
Online since: 2021-10-27T12:18:03Z
Abstract: Viewing Brexit as part of a longer history of Anglo-Saxon racial and cultural ex-ceptionalism, this article reflects on what Samuel Butler’s satirical novel Erewhon, or Over the Range (1872) can tell us about the utopian impulses informing Brexit’s neoimperialist ideology and hence about British identity politics today. Set in an inward-looking, socially homogeneous, and postindustrial society somewhere in the colonial southern hemisphere, Erewhon provides an anachronistic simulacrum of both an isolationist “Little England” and an imperial “Global Britain,” critiquing the idea of the self-sufficient, ethnonationalist “island nation” by demonstrating the extent to which it relies on the racial logic of White utopia-nism, as well as on a disavowal of the non-British labor that supports and sustains it.
Funding Details: European Commission Horizon 2020
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Berghahn Journals
Journal: Historical Reflections
Volume: 47
Issue: 2
Start page: 91
End page: 104
Copyright (published version): 2021 the Author
Keywords: BrexitEthnonationalismNeoimperialismSamuel ButlerSettler colonialismRace theoryUtopianismWhite supremacy
DOI: 10.3167/hrrh.2021.470208
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
ISSN: 0315-7997
This item is made available under a Creative Commons License:
Appears in Collections:English, Drama & Film Research Collection

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