Edited Volume on British Women, Travel and Empire, 1770-1850

deadline for submissions: 
September 10, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Dr. Sutapa Dutta, University of Delhi
contact email: 

Proposals are invited for essays on early travel accounts by British Women and their experiences in Africa, Asia, America, Australia, Europe, Canada, West Indies, for an edited collection of essays on British Women, Travel and Empire, 1770-1850 (to be published by Routledge).

From the middle of the 18th century the extensive spread of the British Empire meant the advent of English travelers to all parts of the world. Apart from merchants, sailors, missionaries and officials who journeyed to far away countries in search of lucrative careers, there were also some daring women who crossed the seas and the land. Many of these women who accompanied their men, and some were even single, provided graphic accounts of their life and travel. These writings depict a unique perspective of their representation of the Other and the ambivalent relation of power between the foreign traveler and the native. These often articulated a very complex discourse which framed a more comprehensible picture to the general public in Britain. More importantly it exemplified an alternate form of female agency, often going against the normative definition of ‘femininity’, charting a bold independent course for themselves and for other women, and defining an alternate space and agency for women’s activities within a male dominated imperial setup.

Possible themes might include but are not limited to:

  • Use of travel as a form of escape from traditional gender roles

  • Women’s perspective of the idea of Empire

  • Aesthetic sensibilities in their writings

  • Issues of Power, Identity and Colonialism

  • Projection of a new national consciousness

For the purpose of uniformity we shall limit the study to accounts of actual travels through Letters, Memoirs and Travel Diaries (not fictional accounts or travel guides or novels). We are seeking a wide representation of countries travelled by British women and do therefore welcome comprehensive scholarly proposals from all parts of the world.

Proposals: 300 words; final essays 8000 words approximately. Please include with proposal a short biographical note of about 50 words.

Proposal deadline: September 10, 2017

Send proposals to: sdutta.eng@gmail.com

Notification of successful proposals: October 15, 2017

Essays to be submitted by April 1, 2018