Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

John Rankin

Committee Members

Brian Maxson, Stephen Fritz


Using part of James Cook’s first voyage of discovery in which he explored the Australian coast, and Joseph Banks’s 1772 voyage to Iceland as case studies, this thesis argues that late eighteenth-century travelers used scientific voyages to present audiences at home with a new understanding and scientific language in which to interpret foreign places and peoples. As a result, scientific travelers were directly influential not only in the creation of new forms of knowledge and intellectual frameworks, but they helped direct the shape and formation of the Empire. The thesis explores the interplay between institutional influence and individual agency in both journeys. As a result, it will argue that the scientific voyages that were most influential in the imperial process were those directed and funded by the state.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.

Included in

History Commons