Heart of Darkness: A Research Guide
The thirteen entries below provide an introduction to scholarly, critical, and public conversations about Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. The section headings listed below indicate major topics, themes, and ideas that emerged in the research process. Each individual entry also includes an annotated bibliography that points back to previous research and forward to new topics, approaches, or questions.
Click here for some of the questions that motivated this project.
Biographical Backgrounds: Who? What? Where?
- "The Man Behind the Pen: Does the Writing Define Him?" by Charla P. (Spring 2014)
- "Journey Into the Past: The Biopsychosocial Interpretation of Heart of Darkness" by Lydia B. (Spring 2014)
Imperial Backdrops: "And this also...has been one of the dark places"
- "Conrad's Maps and the Scramble for Africa" by John G. (Spring 2014)
- "Conrad's Imperialism in Heart of Darkness" by Dylan S. (Spring 2014)
- "A Fury of Generous Indignation': Conrad and other Critical Responses King Leopold II's Reign in the Congo Free State" by Ryan W. (Spring 2014)
Contested Images: Race and Gender in the 19th Century and Beyond
- "19th Century Science and its Effects on Racism" by Mahmoud H. (Fall 2013)
- "The Story Behind Achebe's Claims" by Akhil A. (Spring 2014)
- "Exploring Anti-Imperialist and Racist Qualities in Heart of Darkness" by Bryant Y. (Spring 2014)
- "Sexism in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness" by Emanuela F.
- "The Empowerment of Women in Heart of Darkness" by Connor Y. (Spring 2014)
"A Readable Report": Conrad's Use (and Abuse?) of Genre and Style
- "Bringing Heart of Darkness to Light: The Satirical Roots of Conrad's Impressionism" by Davis S. (Spring 2014)
- "The Nature of London and the Congo: Joseph Conrad's Use and Exploitation of Romanticism in Heart of Darkness" by Gabriella S. (Spring 2014)
Aftereffects: Conrad and The Twentieth Century
- "The Changing of the Guard: Edward Said and Reassessing Heart of Darkness in a Post-colonial Age" by Crystal L. (Fall 2013)
- "Kurtz's Legacy" by Cheng-Hao W. (Spring 2014)
- "Mysticism, Foreign Invasion, and Heroes: The Parallels Between Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and Coppola’s Apocalypse Now" by Olivia H. (Spring 2014)
- "Foreshadowing the Darkness: How Conrad and Apocalypse Now Shaped Our Perception of War" by Adrian L. (Fall 2013)