University of Calgary

Richard Davis

  • Professor Emeritus of English

Currently Teaching

Not currently teaching any courses.

Professional Description

My research focuses on early colonial writing, particularly travel and exploration writing about Canada and other parts of Britain's former colonial empire. I'm especially interested in the ways historical events are perceived and, indeed, constructed in the written records in which they are documented. Such writings provide a rich site in which to explore how Old World language and ways of understanding shaped the expression of New World experience. As well, the alternate layers of mainstream texts that one encounters in archives can provide exciting perspectives from which to examine the author's intention, the economics and mechanics of book production, audience, and cultural history. Because such research often involves a great deal of unpublished material, I have necessarily developed skills for working with and editing archival documents.

I'm also interested in various forms of Life Writing - especially journals or diaries - and in the response to the natural world. I currently hold a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Standard Research Grant entitled "Understanding Expedition Journals in English."



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