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Title: Exporting the standard measure : the function of travel in selected writings of Richard Harding Davis
Author: Sullivan, Mark
ISNI:       0000 0004 7965 8883
Awarding Body: Nottingham Trent University
Current Institution: Nottingham Trent University
Date of Award: 2017
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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.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available