Despite the Euroscepticism dominating British foreign policy, contemporary British novelists, playwrights and travel writers play a vital role in imagining Europe as a transnational community. While previous studies on how Europe is imagined in British literature have predominantly drawn on postcolonial theory and demonstrated how Europe is constructed as Britain's national or cultural 'Other', this project attends to how contemporary British authors imagine 'Britain in Europe' and/or a transcultural 'new Europe'. Focussing on European dimensions of Englishness and Britishness, it seeks to bring about a shift from the dichotomous paradigms of postcolonial studies and imagology to a transcultural conceptual framework in order to account for the emergence of previously disregarded post-insular identities and transcultural discourses in these texts. Thus, the project contributes to the re-thinking of Britain's relationship to the continent.
The project, however, does not just seek to examine the inter-/trans-cultural issues these British texts negotiate, but takes a particular interest in their narrative strategies. By adopting and further developing a contextual narratological approach, the project investigates the aesthetics of transcultural narratives that transcend established national and cultural boundaries. In this way, it opens up new and distinctly transnational vistas at the nexus of 'nation', 'narration' and 'identity' in contemporary British writing.