In the course of this seminar, we will look at how travel in Britain during the long 19th century changed, how it reshaped our modern understanding of culture, geography and mobility by allowing increasing numbers of the people to travel, how it challenged long-established notions of selfhood and otherness, and how a series of technological and social advancements lead to an increasingly cosmopolitan and globalised conception of the world for growing segments of the population. Whilst the limits of people’s experiences and common knowledge were pushed by ever more widely available possibilities of travel, the increasing contact with foreign peoples and cultures at the same time created a number of psychological, ideological and political conflict zones, which had to be navigated through. Eventually, it prompted a reassessment of Britain’s sense of identity and its self-positioning on the global map. We will trace all these developments by looking at a selection of 19th and early 20th century travel narratives, including novels, short stories, and first-hand reports, thus covering a range of different eras, countries, and social classes, and then compare and contrast them with contemporary attitudes relating to traveling and sharing the experiences we make with others. Required Reading: Charles Dickens. Pictures from Italy. Ed. Kate Flint. London: Penguin, 1998. (Penguin Classics) (ISBN: 0140434313)// Jospeh Conrad. Lord Jim. Ed. Jacques Berthoud. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2008 (Oxford World’s Classics Edition) (ISBN: 9780199536023)// Rudyard Kipling. Kim. Ed. Alan Sandison. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2008 (Oxford World’s Classics Edition) (ISBN: 9780199536467)// Requirements: active participation in class; group presentation; term paper (8-10 pp.).
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