Christopher Patterson: “Decolonizing Travel Writing: Creative Scholarship in Asia”

The Social Justice Institute
Noted Scholars Series presents:

Dr. Christopher B. Patterson
Assistant Professor, Social Justice Institute, University of British Columbia

“Decolonizing Travel Writing:
Creative Scholarship in Asia”

October 17, 12-1pm
1099 Buchanan Tower
1873 East Mall, UBC


All events are free and open to the public. RSVP’s are not required to attend, only encouraged.

This talk explores the migratory and exploratory routes that inform the authors’ two books published this year, the academic book “Transitive Cultures: Anglophone Literature of the Transpacific,” and the fiction book “Stamped: an anti-travel novel.” Written over the same ten-year period, both books were formed through a set of wayward travel experiences within the cultural mosaics of Asian cities. How can travel experiences in Asia create disruptions in North America, a place complicit in but largely unaffected by the violences of colonization and empire in Asia? How does wayward, undirected and sporadic forms of travel emerge within a tourist industry that encourages travelers to parrot colonial attitudes while getting high on exotic local trappings? The author will also discuss what it means to do creative work within the institution, which can be both a resource for creativity and scholarship, as well as an entity seeking to exploit the author as a source—a thing from which reputation and diversity can be obtained.

Christopher B. Patterson is an Assistant Professor in the Social Justice Institute at the University of British Columbia. His research focuses on transpacific discourses of literature, games, and films through the lens of empire studies, queer theory and creative writing. He is the author of Transitive Cultures: Anglophone Literature of the Transpacific (Rutgers University Press, 2018), and his articles have appeared in venues such as American QuarterlyGames and Culture, and M.E.L.U.S.. He writes fiction under the pseudonym Kawika Guillermo, and is the author of Stamped: an anti-travel novel (Westphalia Press, 2018), as well as short stories in The Cimarron ReviewFeminist Studies, and The Hawai’i Pacific Review, and other venues.