American Travel and Empire

American Travel and Empire

Susan Castillo and David Seed

Print publication date: 2013

ISBN: 9781846311802

Publisher: Liverpool University Press

Abstract

In this collection, leading scholars in the field examine the interfaces between narratives of travel and of empire. The term ‘American’, used here in the hemispheric sense, and ‘American travel writing’ include both writing about America by visitors and writings by Americans abroad. The contributors are recognized specialists in different periods of American literature and travel writing. The chapters explore the ways in which descriptions of the landscapes and peoples of colonized territories shaped perceptions of these areas; the transmission of images and metaphors between colony and metropole; the othering of non-scribal cultures as ‘primitive’ or ‘wild’; the deployment of representations of encounters between European and other cultures in order to critique or reinforce European or American values and cultural practices; and the tacit assumptions of cultural or economic hegemony underlying U.S. or European travel writing.