In this seminar, which is directed at – but not exclusive to – members of the MA BATS, we will read and discuss travel writing for the way it figures and configures cultures in contact. We will look primarily to historical accounts that engage with phenomena of imperialism, of knowledge collection and construction, and contact zone conflicts. A theoretical framework, provided in selected readings on Stud.IP, will give rise to analyses that critique these phenomena and help us to direct our attention to the world-making properties of this kind of writing. Travel writing will be understood in a broad sense, and will possibly entail reading, for example, Charles Darwin, Daniel Defoe, Mary Wollstonecraft, Mungo Park, and perhaps German travellers like Alexander von Humboldt and/or Georg Forster (the syllabus will be finalised towards the end of the break: please check further announcements on Stud.IP, because whilst many readings will be provided on Stud.IP, you will be required to purchase/have access to some books).
Members of the seminar will participate in discussions. The seminar will also entail a creative component, where we compose our own short travel writing pieces.