Anglophone travel literature and health tourism (18th-19th century)

06 Oct 2020 16:00 15 Dec 2020 18:00
Target Group
Master’s students
Closed  (Deadline: 14 Dec 2020 23:55)

As members of the European Union, the larger Western world, and a globalized world, we have lived with the belief in unlimited and relatively safe traveling options. But the onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020 suddenly confronted us with the dangers of infection, xenophobia, closed borders, warnings of risk zones as well as major social differences. Every pandemic has produced individual medical as well as social, political, cultural, and economic hardships and crises that effected radical changes in societies and individuals all over the world. The difference today is that we have at least more insight into how to fight such a pandemic. The narratives studied in this class stem from European and North-American Anglophone travel literature of the 18th and 19th centuries.

In our discussions, we will thematise questions of narrative perspective and genre, the representation of otherness and othering, language used to depict diseases and their effects on human behavior and traveling, health resorts in Southern Europe and their climate as well as questions of well-being.

By including medical, historical, and cultural backgrounds as well as conventions of travel writing as life writing, we aim at a thorough understanding of the intersections of disease/health, travel, and writing and of how past literary (in a broad sense) knowledge can be used to discuss present developments.

This course has been designed as an online seminar taught by professors from Germany, France and Portugal:

  • Prof. Carmen Birkle, Philipps-Universität Marburg
  • Prof. Jan Borm, Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines/Université Paris-Saclay
  • Dr. hab. Fátima Outeirinho, Universidade do Porto




Certificate of attendance is possible. If you attend the complete course, 3 ECTS are awarded.

  • Programme

    You can choose to book the full course or selected sessions.

    Provisional Schedule:

    • Sept 22 – Intro – travel literature (History of exploration, Grand Tour, tourism, health tourism)
    • Sept 29 – Fielding, Henry. Journal of a Voyage to Lisbon (1755)
    • Oct 6 – Smollett, Tobias. Travels in France and Italy (1766)
    • Oct 13 – Sterne, Laurence. Sentimental Journey (1768)
    • Oct 20 – Thicknesse, Philip. A Year’s Journey through France and Part of Spain (1777)
    • Nov 3 – tbd
    • Nov 10 – Titmarsh, M. A. (Thackeray, William Makepeace). Notes of a Journey from Cornhill to Grand Cairo (1844, chapter on Lisbon)
    • Nov 17 – Bennett. Winter and Spring on the Shores of the Mediterranean
    • Nov 24 – tbd
    • Dec 1 – tbd
    • Dec 8 – tbd
    • Dec 15 – Mayle, Peter. A Year in Provence (1989)
  • Registration

    Registration: Registration is open at

    Contact person: In case of questions please contact Katherine Fregnac (

    Registration deadline: Registration is possible all along the course until December 14th 2020.

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