Looking to learn something new this summer? Want to learn more about Travel and Mobility in Early Modern Europe?

In this seminar, we travel around the world in the company of the Florentine merchant Francesco Carletti. The early modern period experienced an unprecedented level of mobility, both within Europe and globally. In 1594, Carletti departed from Spain to make his fortune as a private merchant. He travelled to Mexico and Peru, to the Philippines and Japan, to China and India. We follow Carletti’s journey by reading his chronicle of his travels, My Voyage Around the World. Each week of the course we study in detail the places Carletti travelled and the peoples he encountered. The seminar covers topics such as life at sea, slavery, colonialism, food and drink, religion, sexuality, global commerce, and natural history.

The course considers the social and cultural context of early modern mobility at the transnational and global levels. Each week in class we seek to re-create the material and cultural world of early modern travel. We explore how linguistic and cultural differences were experienced, how travellers made sense of unfamiliar places, social customs, and cultural practices, and the ‘things’ – cotton, silver, religious objects – that also moved on journeys.