Lecture by Sebastian Sobecki: “The Invention of Colonialism: Richard Hakluyt and Medieval Travel Writing”

When and Where

Wednesday, February 02, 2022 11:00 am to 1:00 pm


Speaker: Professor Sebastian Sobecki, University of Groningen (PhD Cambridge)

Time: Wednesday, February 2nd, 11am

Title: “The Invention of Colonialism: Richard Hakluyt and Medieval Travel Writing”

Zoom Invitation 

Meeting ID: 863 2691 9587 / Passcode: 262352


Sebastian Sobecki holds the Professorship of Medieval English Literature and Culture at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, where he currently chairs the Cluster of Cultures, Languages, Literatures. He received his PhD in English from Cambridge University (2005) and was Assistant Professor at McGill University before starting at Groningen. He has received fellowships and research funding from All Souls College (Oxford), the British Academy, Cambridge University, SSHRC, Harvard University, the German Research Foundation, the Huntington Library, Magdalen College (Oxford), the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, Québec's FQ_RSC, SAUTE (Switzerland), and Yale University. 

Professor Sobecki’s research covers a wide area of late medieval literary culture, particularly law, travel, politics, authorship, manuscripts, and palaeography. He has published some seventy articles and chapters, mostly in peer-reviewed books and leading journals such as SpeculumThe Review of English StudiesELHStudies in the Age of ChaucerNew Medieval Literatures, and The English Historical Review. His books include three authored monographs: Last Words: The Public Self and the Social Author in Late Medieval England (Oxford UP, 2019), Unwritten Verities: The Making of England’s Vernacular Legal Culture, 1463-1549 (Notre Dame UP, 2015), and The Sea and Medieval English Literature (D.S. Brewer, 2008); four editions of texts: Medieval English Travel: A Critical Anthology (Oxford UP, 2019; with Anthony Bale), An Edition of Miles Hogarde’s ‘A Mirroure of Myserie’, 1557 (Punctum Books, 2021), and vols 1-2 of Richard Hakluyt’s Principal Navigations (Oxford UP, in press); and seven edited or co-edited collections and journal volumes, including, most recently, The Cambridge Companion to Medieval English Law and Literature (Cambridge UP, 2019; with Candace Barrington). 

Professor Sobecki is currently completing an edited collection, Global Medieval Travel Writing: A Literary History (Cambridge UP), and editing The Oxford Handbook of Middle English Prose (Oxford UP) with Emily Steiner. He is working on two monograph projects: one on fifteenth-century literary culture and London's clerks, the other on medieval travel writing and the foundations of British colonialism (Cambridge UP).