People on the Move: Global Journeys, 1750-1900

Tutor: Natasha Glaisyer

Module type: Period Topic

Module code: HIS00009C

Why did people make journeys in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries? What did they leave behind and what were they expecting to find when they arrived? What was it like to travel in this period? What did people take with them?

In this module we study a great variety of journeys across the globe made by all sorts of people. Some made such journeys because they had no choice, others out of curiosity, some sought pleasure and many hoped for profit and new opportunities. We will consider not only the big picture - the broad patterns of the movement of large numbers of people - but we will also focus on the experiences of individuals and their journeys.

What records of these journeys survive? Diaries, daguerreotypes, maps, paintings, souvenirs, letters, passenger lists, printed guide books, among other sources, allow us to explore the global journeys many people made in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Seminar topics may include the following:

  • The Middle Passage: Atlantic Slave Journeys
  • Exploration and Observation: Islands, Ice and the Interior
  • The Grand Tour: Collecting Continental Culture
  • Bound for Botany Bay: British Convict Transportation to Australia
  • Golden Opportunities: Gold Rushes in California, the Klondike, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand
  • Spiritual Journeys: Pilgrimages
  • Moving on: Migration
  • Perspectives


To find out more

You might like to look at the following: 

  • Black, Jeremy. The British Abroad: The Grand Tour in the Eighteenth Century. Stroud, 1992.
  • Equiano, Olaudah. The Interesting Narrative and Other Writings. New York: Penguin, Any edition.