Postdoctoral Fellow, April - July 2020
Home Institution: University of Warwick
Project title: Gifted travellers: rhetorical invention in seventeenth‐century English travel writing
Natalya Din-Kariuki is Assistant Professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies. Her research examines the literary and intellectual history of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, with a particular focus on travel writing, transnational and transcultural encounters, modes of cosmopolitanism, and rhetoric and poetics. During her IASH fellowship, she undertook research relating to her first book project on the rhetoric of seventeenth-century English travel writing.
The book argues that early modern English travellers drew on the habits and techniques of classical rhetoric to understand and describe their experiences. It reconstructs aspects of the humanist pedagogy that these writers encountered at school and university to show that they used this training in settings far removed from their classrooms. It presents a new reading of the formal and stylistic features of travel writing, and, in so doing, broadens the scope of what early modern 'literature' might be said to comprise. At the same time, it situates the texts under discussion within wider commercial, diplomatic, and patronage contexts, to examine the role that travellers played in the rise of the early modern English knowledge economy.
Natalya has also held visiting fellowships at the University of Leeds, and at the Folger Institute in Washington, DC.