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Introduction: Genre, Witness, And Time In The ‘Book’ Of Travels

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Chapter Summary

When the MARCO Institute for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at the University of Tennessee planned its 2006 symposium, the organizing committee proposed to focus on travel narratives. This chapter examines travel as a mode of narrative and experience, a mode that was not comprised in a simple or single genre called 'travel writing,' but rather one that was expressed in a variety of intersecting genres and a complex matrix of material and rhetorical forms. It proposes that the term 'ethnology', along with its counterpart 'ethnography', has been used rather broadly where travel narratives are concerned. 'Ethnology' may express itself in a system of narration developed or promoted in seventeenth century Europe with the aid of 'classical' models for classifying 'race'. This chapter presents an overview of how the other chapters of the book are organised.

Keywords: ethnography; Europe; Renaissance; travel writing



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