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Moving: Pathways, Transport and Place
The field of travel writing has become heavily populated in recent years, while globalization has become a common theme in much thinking about the early modern period. In this project we propose to focus on motion through three themes: firstly modes of transport, the various means of moving from one place to the next, whether on broomstick, by river ferries or elephants; secondly, routes, pathways and itineraries, the recording of the places people moved through, how did traffic, trade and even travel writing itself populate certain highways and byways as opposed to others; and finally how did the language of cartography begin to shape the lexis of geographical, topographical and chorographical description, what language was used to talk about and define place, in what ways did metaphors of movement, bustle, and exchange define these meeting points, the settled as opposed to the moving. We propose to create a new set of kinetic typologies and a digital resource with which to analyse and represent moving in the early modern period. We will of course take into account travel writing, and its related and fascinating questions (about identity formation, otherness and estrangement), but we will also analyse more prosaic matters of law and geography, the culture of the inn, city gates, tolls and tariffs, the customs official, the muleteer, the economics of hiring horses, carriages, wagons, boats and barges.
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