Circulating seditious knowledge: the ‘daring absurdities, studied misrepresentations, and abominable falsehoods’ of William Macintosh. / Keighren, Innes M.

Mobilities of knowledge. ed. / Heike Jöns; Peter Meusburger; Michael Heffernan. Cham : Springer International Publishing AG, 2017. p. 67–84.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter



The author examines the writing, editing, anonymous publication, and translation of a late-eighteenth-century text of travel and political sedition: Travels in Europe, Asia, and Africa (1782). Written by William Macintosh, a Scots-born Caribbean plantation owner turned political commentator, Travels was considered by contemporaries to be incendiary—precipitating British governmental action against the East India Company, inspiring revolutionary spirit in France, informing politicians in the United States during the drafting of the Constitution, and instructing natural philosophers in Germany on questions of race and civilization. The author argues that the international spatial mobility of Macintosh’s book was facilitated by geographically distinct acts of editing, translation, and reproduction. The complex publication history of Travels—across editions in English, German, and French—is used to demonstrate that Macintosh’s work was differently staged for different linguistic audiences. The author concludes by reflecting more broadly on the importance of mediation to the mobility of knowledge.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication Mobilities of knowledge
EditorsHeike Jöns, Peter Meusburger, Michael Heffernan
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer International Publishing AG
ISBN (Electronic)9783319446547
ISBN (Print)9783319446530
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jan 2017
This open access research output is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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