The travelogue is a mixed genre, sharing aspects with writings on geography, ethnography, biology or economy, but also with autobiography and fiction. Moreover, it is part of a discourse of power by which the world is constructed, organized, divided and controlled. In this seminar we will read and analyse a variety of texts from the late Middle Ages to the present, beginning with the highly imaginative Travels of Sir John Mandeville. Among the other texts that could be discussed are the writings of Columbus, Lady Montague, Mungo Park, Richard Francis Burton, and Bruce Chatwin, but we may also venture into imaginary literary journeys through fantastic realms or into the future. Suggestions from prospective participants are welcome.
As you have been informed, the beginning of the semester has been postponed until May 4, and the first weeks may well be taught online in virtual classrooms. Under these circumstances it is useful to upload material for the classes early, and I will do so as of now. The enrolment keys for my classes can be found in the course descriptions under my name on wordwise.