The subjectification of the nineteenth-century maritime spectator: Shipboard diaries as maritime history

Jensz, Felicity; Langeveld, Eeva; Steltner, Henrike; Krischer André

Forschungsartikel (Zeitschrift)


In contrast to shipboard journals of the eighteenth century, which often served the func- tion of providing ‘objective’ information for scientific and political networks, shipboard diaries of the nineteenth century reveal a discursive change in which there is a subjecti- fication of the journey. This subjectification, we argue, is evident in the ways in which fee–paying passengers used such diaries as a way to make sense of their experiences of being at sea. Here we examine the 1829 journal of James A. Gardner on his travels aboard a ship from Britain to Australia. We focus on how Gardner described trial scenes on board in the confined space of the ship and his fantasies of the potential of Australian land for settler–colonists. These two aspects of the subject–orientated nineteenth century shipboard diary illuminate how the sea influenced and nurtured contemporan- eous British ideas of entertainment, moral codes and hierarchies, as well as colonial ideologies.

Details zur Publikation

Veröffentlichungsjahr: 2022
Sprache, in der die Publikation verfasst istEnglisch