MSc by Research in Human Geography
A Human Geographical Exploration of Adventure Motorcycling
Freedom to move, freedom to feel, freedom to choose
University of Hull – United Kingdom
Department of Geography
Freedom is a term that is used often when an adventure motorcyclist is asked what it is all about and when asked what it is what he or she experiences and why he or she engages in this activity. This thesis explores what adventure motorcycling is all about and how the sense of freedom that is experienced can be explained. Accepting that freedom is quite a broad, elusive and yet over-determined umbrella term, and focusing on several modalities of adventure motorcycling that all come with their own approach to what is dubbed as ‘freedom’, this thesis moves towards a more concrete understanding of what the adventure motorcyclist means when he refers to the simple term of ‘freedom’. The core modalities that are discussed in this thesis are firstly the interaction or combination of human and machine (motorcycle), secondly, the experience of the landscape, and thirdly, the philosophy behind adventure and challenge itself, which is approached as a rite of passage. With the help of adventure travel narratives, artwork and films, all embedded in a theoretical framework that runs from Latour’s idea of assemblages to Merleau-Ponty’s Primacy of Perception, and from J.B. Jackson’s ‘Abstract World of the Hot-Rodder’ to the Arnold van Gennep’s schéma of the Rite of Passage, exploration of these core modalities of adventure motorcycling provide an insight into the world of the motorcyclist and what is meant when ideas of freedom are mentioned.
Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Culture
Imagined Geographies in Henry Morton Stanley’s In Darkest Africa
and Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness
Radboud University Nijmegen – Netherlands
English Language and Literature
The geography of empire is a complicated one, but the imagined geography of empire was – if possible – even more complicated and versatile. This thesis concentrates on one fictional and one non-fictional work that both were able to create imagined geographies of empire: Henry Morton Stanley’s In Darkest Africa and Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. It shows that certainly in textual form the genre does not imply a different embedded message per se: within the contemporary framework of both authors, their findings, communicated back to the ‘sheltered folk’ back home, contributed to the justification and therefore conservation of the imperial project. This thesis shows how both authors were linked to their contemporary context, especially considering the racialist discourses in both works. This contextual bond resulted in Stanley and Conrad both providing the ingredients for an imagined geography that destined Africa as a place of need; a place where childlike, un(der)developed and uncivilised savage creatures lived surrounded by resources they were unable to see the value of or that were of better use in the hands of the West and especially the British.