28th Oct 2009 5:00pm-7:00pm

Julia Winckler (University of Brighton)

This seminar will focus on the little known travel account ‘The Life and Travels of Dorugu’ recorded by James Henry Dorugu in the 1850s. Dorugu was a freed slave who travelled from Africa to Europe with the German explorer Heinrich Barth in 1855. Dorugu’s story is a precious and rare eyewitness account of a 19th century African visitor to London, Hamburg and Berlin. Most 19th century travel writing was done by Western travellers who observed the !cultures they visited from a eurocentric perspective. The stories told by the !African guides are indispensable to our contemporary understanding of historical expeditions. Although marginalized at the fringes of official histories, Dorugu played a pivotal role as an informed ! mediator between European explorers, missionaries and Africans.