Skip to main content

Research Guides@Tufts

HIS 190: Travel Writing and History

How to Use This Guide

Welcome to the course guide for HIS 190: Travel Writing and History. On this guide you will find everything you need to start your research for your final paper. The guide is divided into a few different sections:

  • Reference Sources - The sources listed here provide background and contextual information on your topic.  Use this tab to discover your reference sources.
  • Primary Sources - Primary sources are often the focus of literary scholarship or the most direct sources on your chosen topic. Use this tab to discover your primary sources.
  • Secondary Sources - Secondary sources are discussions or analyses of primary sources. Secondary sources are "scholarly literature" which offer arguments in support of a particular interpretation or thesis on a topic. Use this tab to discover relevant secondary sources for your research.
  • Citing Your Sources - Scholarship, whether by a tenured faculty member or a first year writing student, is a living conversation. This conversation is most fruitful when it's history can be traced. Proper citations allow you and your reader to enter into the scholarly conversation. This tab will take you to a guide on tools and formats for proper citations.

Course Description

This research seminar examines the literary roots of historiography by investigating travel accounts and their major influence in shaping historiography, from Marco Polo to colonial reports to travelogues and journalism today. The course focuses on how cross-cultural encounters and exchanges shaped historiography, revolutionary writing and political philosophy in Europe and how narrative style and description still shape historical text. Travel descriptions of Europe, the New World, Persia, India, China and Africa are used as primary sources, and some have been integrated into later historical texts. These sources include texts, early maps, and photograph sand are analyzed for views oft he “other,” views of the world, post-colonial issues of representation, Orientalist discourse, and expressions of racism, sexism, imperialism and colonialism.