Kate Macdonald teaches British literature at the University of Reading, UK, and has published widely on twentieth-century publishing, book history, middlebrow culture, and the conservative popular novel. She is the editor of the Journal of Historical Fictions, and was general editor of Political Future Fictions: Speculative and Counter-Factual Politics in Edwardian Britain, 3 vols, (London: Pickering & Chatto, 2013). She tweets @KateRLTB, and reviews science fiction and forgotten novels at katemacdonald.net.
In January I was teaching speculative and science fiction from the modernist period to show my students how fascism emerges, and how to recognise the ways that literary strategies can instil alienation, fear of the Other, and anti-Semitism and racism. My students were German, and our seminars were held in the north-west German university town of Paderborn, a little east of the Ruhr, where a British Army base