Emily Teo is a comparative historian interested in analysing travel texts and travel practices as a historical and cultural practice. Her PhD dissertation compared the texts of late-Ming Chinese and early modern European travel writers, both travelling through Ming China between 1550-1644. She was on the Erasmus Mundus PhD programme Text and Event in Early Modern Europe at the University of Kent and Free University of Berlin from 2014 to 2017. Emily completed her M.A. in Global History at the University of Vienna and the University of Leipzig.
Emily Teo is interested in the close connection between utopian writing and travel writing. She discusses travel texts from an intercultural perspective, arguing that travellers from different 'travel cultures', with different motivations, literary traditions and travel practices were all driven by the 'utopian impulse', the search for utopia whilst on their journeys. As a 'no place' the utopia is always elusive, yet travellers project their visions of utopia onto the physical environment that they encounter. Emily argues that in doing so, travellers enter a dialogic engagement with the landscape, writing their culture onto the landscape, while also interacting with the landscape in shaping their perceptions of utopia.