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(Re)settling Poetry: The Culture of Reprinting and the Poetics of Emigration in the 1820s Southern Settler Colonies

Atkin, Lara (2022) (Re)settling Poetry: The Culture of Reprinting and the Poetics of Emigration in the 1820s Southern Settler Colonies. In: Mee, Jon and Sangster, Matthew, eds. Remediating the 1820s. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, UK, pp. 166-186. ISBN 978-1-4744-9327-7. E-ISBN 978-1-4744-9329-1. (KAR id:103849)


Ever since Benedict Anderson’s Imagined Communities (1991), it has become axiomatic to view print media as central to the formation of national consciousness. In the British Empire, newspapers functioned as what historian Chris Holdridge has termed a ‘discursive mediator of identity’ for those British emigrants who forsook the metropole for the settler colonies after the end of the Napoleonic Wars.1 The function of newspaper poetry within this broader anglophone media ecology has been debated in recent years, as poetry’s portability has re-established its importance to scholars interested in the role that print culture played in enabling the articulation of emerging national identities in the British settler colonies. Poetry’s ability to traverse borders – both physically, as the portable property of emigrants or through the ‘cut and scissors’ reprint culture of nineteenth-century journalism, and imaginatively, through memorisation, reproduction and imitation – has led to a spate of recent studies that highlight the importance of poetry for the development of colonial literary cultures across the Anglo-world. This piece examines an archive of settler poetry published in the Cape Colony and New South Wales during the 1820s to explore the function poetry played in the broader emigration discourse of the period.

Item Type: Book section
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of English
Funders: European Research Council (
Depositing User: Lars Atkin
Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2023 16:33 UTC
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2023 13:30 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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