April 4, 2011
WOOSTER, Ohio — Jennifer Hayward, professor of English at The College of Wooster, will present “No Strangers but Ourselves: Scottish Travelers in the Americas, 1824-1899” at the third Faculty at Large lecture of the spring semester on Tuesday, April 12. The talk, which is free and open to the public, begins at 11 a.m. in Lean Lecture Room of Wishart Hall (303 E. University St.).
Hayward will discuss the ways in which relationships between Scotland and the Americas shaped both Scottish and New World national identities. To illustrate her message, she will focus on three prominent Scottish writers and travelers: Thomas Cochrane, an admiral whose legendary naval victories in the Chilean, Peruvian, and Brazilian wars of independence in the 1820s helped to inspire the novels of Frederick Marryat, C.S. Forester, and Patrick O’Brian; Frances Calderon de la Barca, whose book Two Years in Mexico caused a scandal in Mexico and then influenced the United States intervention in Mexico during the war of 1846-48; and Robert Louis Stevenson, the novelist whose two books about his travels in California in 1879 focus on the Scotsman as a “stranger” in the New World.
Hayward notes that when Stevenson encountered a fellow Scotsman in California, he rejoiced: “when Scotsmen meet in far-flung locations, some ready-made affection joins us on the instant...It is at least a curious thing to conclude that the races which wander widest, Jews and Scots, should be the most clannish in the world. But perhaps these two are cause and effect: ‘For ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.’” Stevenson’s parallel between Scottish and Jewish wanderers raises interesting questions about the place of the Scottish within 19th century British culture, according to Hayward, who will address the difficulty of defining Scottish national identity after the Acts of Union joined Scotland and England in 1707. She will demonstrate that when considered together, Cochrane’s, Calderón’s, and Stevenson’s travel writings help us to appreciate the reciprocal influence of Scotland and the Americas over the course of the nineteenth century — an influence that continues to this day.
A member of the faculty at Wooster since 1992, Hayward focuses on travel and 19th century British literature. She received her B.A from Wesleyan University, her M.A. from San Francisco State University, and her Ph.D. from Princeton University. In addition to articles on 19th century British literature and travel writing, she has published the book Consuming Pleasures: active audiences and serial fictions from Dickens to soaps, as well as new editions of travel writer Maria Graham’s Journal of a Residence in Chile and Journal of a Voyage to Brazil (with co-editor Soledad Caballero). She is currently beginning to work on a book about Scottish travelers in the Americas.
Additional information about Hayward’s lecture is available by phone (330-263-2576) or e-mail.
1189 Beall Avenue, Wooster, Ohio 44691. (330) 263-2000
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