Recovering British Romantic Women Travel Writers

Pamela Buck (Sacred Heart University)


Course Description: This course is for senior English majors who are concentrating in literature, and it serves as the culmination of your studies in the major. The topic for our course is “Recovering British Women Travel Writers,” and you will have the opportunity to create a significant work of original scholarship on an underrepresented British woman travel writer of the early nineteenth century. The project will draw on your skills as a close reader of complex literary texts, a careful researcher, and an eloquent writer to produce a senior thesis and a contribution to a collaborative website.

In recent decades, scholars have done groundbreaking work in recovering women’s texts, and the introduction of their work has dramatically revised our understanding of literature. However, women’s travel writing remains a relatively unexplored area. Their texts raise important and fascinating questions such as, what compelled women to travel, and how did their writing help Britain understand the world? What do their texts reveal about British views of race, empire, and colonized peoples? How did travel provide women with opportunities to enter the public sphere and address issues of social and political importance? How did encountering other societies help shape their own gender identities?