Nandini Das is Professor of English Literature at the University of
Liverpool, UK. She received her first degree from Jadavpur University
(India), won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford, and was awarded her PhD
from the University of Cambridge. Her recent publications include an
essays on Renaissance prose fiction, Shakespeare, Richard Hakluyt and
early modern travel. She is volume editor of Elizabethan Levant Trade
and South Asia in the forthcoming edition of Richard Hakluyt’s The
Principal Navigations, to be published by Oxford University Press, and
is currently working on Common Places, a book on Renaissance travel
and cultural memory.
Why does one go about capturing the experience of travel through words, and how? Philip Sidney in his Defence of Poetry had claimed that ‘it is not gnosis but praxis must be the fruit’ of literature, rhetorically moving the reader from ‘well-knowing’ to ‘well-doing’. What then was the status of travel-writing, where text constantly threatened to substitute for action, and action undermined text’s efforts to record its essential nature with any degree of accuracy? This talk will explore Richard Hakluyt’s attempts to tackle those questions in his monumental Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques and Discoveries of the English Nation (1589 and 1598-1600), which had significant implications both for English travel writing and for English prose.
This event will be held on the campus of The George Washington University, Rome Hall, suite 204.
The lecture will begin at 3:00 pm and will be followed by a reception at 4:30.
This event is free and open to the public. Hope to see you there!