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  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2022

Travel Writings on Asia

Curiosity, Identities, and Knowledge Across the East, c. 1200 to the Present

Palgrave Macmillan
  • Offers an interdisciplinary and methodologically unique volume that challenges dichotomous notions of East and West

  • Uses a broad chronology to promote bold comparative reflections on travel writing in Asia across time and space

  • Revisits the debate on the production of knowledge about Asia by stressing curiosity and identity in travel writing

  • This book is open access, which means that you have free and unlimited access.

Part of the book series: Palgrave Series in Asia and Pacific Studies (PSAPS)

Buying options

Hardcover Book USD 149.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Table of contents (11 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xiv
  2. Introduction: Curiosity, Identities, and Knowledge in Travel Writings on Asia

    • Christian Mueller, Matteo Salonia
    Pages 1-28Open Access
  3. In Search of Textual Treasures: The Ōtani Expeditions and Tibet

    • Stephen W. Kohl, Ronald S. Green
    Pages 211-238Open Access
  4. Mobility and the Middle Kingdom

    • K. Cohen Tan
    Pages 291-310Open Access

About this book

This open access book provides an analysis of human actors and their capacity to explore and conceptualise their own agency by being curious, gathering knowledge, and shaping identities in their travel reflections on Asia. Thus, the actors open windows across time to present a profound overview of diverse descriptions and constructions of Asia. It is demonstrated that international and transnational history contributes to and benefits from analyses of national and local contexts that in turn enrich our understanding of transcultural encounters and experiences across time.

The book proposes an actor-centred contextual approach to travel writing to recount meaningful constructions of Asia’s physical, political and spiritual landscapes. It offers comparative reflections on the patterns of encounter across Eurasia, where from the late medieval period an idea of civilisation was transculturally shared yet also constantly questioned and reframed. Tailored for academic and public discussions alike, this volume will be invaluable for both scholars of Global History and interested audiences to stimulate further discussions on the nature of global encounters in Asia.


  • travel writing
  • Asian networks
  • Silk Roads
  • Eurasian encounters
  • intellectual history
  • borders and identities
  • curiosity in global history
  • knowledge and Empire
  • transnational culture
  • transnational history
  • imperial geographies
  • imperial mobilities
  • early globalisation
  • ethnography and peripheries
  • Open Access

Editors and Affiliations

  • University of Nottingham Ningbo China, Ningbo, China

    Christian Mueller, Matteo Salonia

About the editors

Christian Mueller is Associate Professor in European and International History, University of Nottingham Ningbo China.

Matteo Salonia is Assistant Professor in European and International History, University of Nottingham Ningbo China.

Bibliographic Information

Buying options

Hardcover Book USD 149.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)