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St Mary's Academic Leads Travel Writing Course at Indian University

St Mary’s University, Twickenham academic Dr Carl Thompson travelled to India in December to deliver an intensive course on Travel Writing at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bhubaneswar, in the Odisha Province.

An internationally recognised expert in the Travel genre, he has authored a highly regarded introduction to the form in Travel Writing, 2011, published by Routledge, and most recently edited A Companion to Travel Writing for the same publisher. Dr Thompson commented, “Travel writing is a prolific, dynamic and socially important genre. I was delighted to be invited to lecture at IIT, Bhubaneswar, on a medium that is profoundly influential to our perceptions of regions and cultures across the globe. “I found the experience incredibly interesting and stimulating. The students were of a very high standard, mostly pursuing doctoral and postdoctoral projects, and they came from all over India. It was fascinating to learn of the rich traditions of Indian travel writing that many of them are working on, in languages such as Oriya, Malayalam and Telugu, and I’m looking forward to bringing this greater knowledge of Indian literature and travel back to St Mary’s to further enrich the learning of our students here in London.” The course, which ran for a week towards the end of December 2016, gave participants a thorough grounding in both the history of travel writing, and the diverse concerns and forms which currently characterize the genre, introducing key debates, principal methodologies and modes of scholarly analysis Dr Thompson was invited by Dr Amrita Satapathy, Assistant Professor, School of Humanities, Social Sciences & Management at IIT, Bhubaneswar, to devise and deliver a course. Dr Satapathy added, “Dr Carl Thompson is a renowned scholar in the field of Travel Literature. My first acquaintance with him was through his first book on the topic, which is a seminal work on travel writing and its various aspects. “His writing is nuanced and exhibits a clarity that reflects his innate passion for this area. Students participating from different places of the country will have benefited from his erudition and knowledge.” A Senior Lecturer at St Mary’s, Dr Thompson joined the University in 2016, having previously been Reader in English Literature and Travel Culture at Nottingham Trent University, and before that a Junior Research Fellow in English at Trinity College, Oxford. He currently teaches Romanticism, Tragedy, Practical Criticism, and the Gothic as part of the University’s English programmes.

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