Maya Jassanoff

Oct 14, 2022

On Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness"

A Discussion with Maya Jassanoff

New Books Network 2022

Joseph Conrad, who published 20 books and several best-sellers by the time of his death, was also a sailor. Heart of Darkness follows seaman Charles Marlow’s journey down a river in Africa. It is Conrad’s most well-known book today. This tale of colonialism in Africa is shrouded in mystery, and the book itself has fallen in and out of favor since its publication. Harvard professor Maya Jassanoff discusses why Heart of Darkness is an exemplar of what it means to read a text within its historical context. Maya Jassanoff is a Harvard professor of History. Her book The Dawn Watch: Joseph Conrad in a Global World won the Cundill Prize in History. She is also the author of Liberty’s Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World and Edge of Empire: Lives, Culture, and Conquest in the East, 1750-1850. See more information on our website,

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