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Emily Teo

Emily Teo | Freie Universitaet Berlin

Emily Teo | Freie Universitaet Berlin

A Comparative History of Writing Travel: Late-Ming and Early Modern Travellers in China (1550-1644)

Freie Universitaet Berlin

In late-Ming China, travel was flourishing. Chinese and European travellers were travelling through China and writing about their experiences. My project discusses the underlying philosophies and impetus that guide travel, and ultimately, what travellers see and record. Although they were travelling through the same land, travellers’ records are unique in style, subject and methodology. European travellers went to China in the early modern context of ‘discovery’, intending to contribute their knowledge to the Republic of Letters. While some Chinese travellers were also interested in advancing geographical knowledge, their accounts were concerned with self-narrative, exploring the relationship between man and nature.

I am Emily Teo, a historian and student of the PhD programme Text and Event in Early Modern Europe, at the Freie Universität Berlin and the University of Kent. My supervisors are Professor Klaus Mühlhahn and Professor Bernhard Klein. My PhD project takes a comparative approach towards early modern Chinese and European travel writing. I graduated from the National University of Singapore with a B.A. (Hons) in European Studies. I did my Masters in Global Studies at the Universität Wien and Universität Leipzig.