Exporting the standard measure: the function of travel in selected writings of Richard Harding Davis

Sullivan, M., 2017. Exporting the standard measure: the function of travel in selected writings of Richard Harding Davis. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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Through a close reading of selected publications of the American travel writer Richard Harding Davis (1864–1916) this thesis illustrates how travel writing is essentially cartographic in nature and will examine how travel writing creates maps in and through discourse. Further, this thesis contends that an approach informed by concepts within the Deleuze and Guattarian framework is ideally suited to a critical engagement with travel writing as it is concerned with the occupation of and traversal through space and a pragmatic approach to semiotics.

The theoretical perspective is taken from select works of Deleuze and Guattari. Specifically, it adapts Deleuze and Guattari's approach to a pragmatic semantics and the consideration of reciprocal processes at work within discourse in order to consider and interrogate the discursive mapping at work within Davis's travel, amongst wider reflections on Davis's travel writing.

The first chapter undertakes a critical survey of Davis and demonstrates the critical neglect of him. The second justifies the choice of Deleuze and Guattari as the theoretical base of the thesis. The third chapter considers Davis's domestic travelogue, The West from a Car Window (1892) and engages with the mythologised West that permeated the culture of which Davis was a part. The fourth chapter interrogates the discursive rendering of Belize and Venezuela as they appear in Davis's travelogue Three Gringos in South America and Venezuela (1896) wherein Davis demonstrates two very different and distinct discursive practices. The fifth chapter provides a close reading of some of Davis's substantial war correspondence, specifically Cuba in War Time (1897), With both Armies (1900), and With the Allies (1914), and considers the manner in which discourse represents the contest for, invasion and eventual occupation of space.

The thesis builds on the idea that travel writing is necessarily a translation of an ostensibly foreign culture, territory or people via a domestic regime of signification, and examines this act of translation as a discursive cartography, a mapping of territory, culture and people.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Sullivan, M.
Date: December 2017
Rights: This work is the intellectual property of the author. You may copy up to 5% of this work for private study, or personal, non-commercial research. Any re-use of the information contained within this document should be fully referenced, quoting the author, title, university, degree level and pagination. Queries or requests for any other use, or if a more substantial copy is required, should be directed to the owner(s) of the Intellectual Property Rights.
Divisions: Schools > School of Arts and Humanities
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 03 Jul 2019 15:28
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2019 15:28
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/37025

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