Taylor and Porter Publish on Visionary Thomas Stevens

Written by Laura Paskin
May 17, 2013

History Professor Tom Taylor and International Studies student Gabrielle Porter published “"The Impractical Scheme of a Visionary: Thomas Stevens and the Quest to Travel Round the World on a Bicycle” in the June issue of World History Connect (vol. 10, #2). Their article examined the writings of bicyclist Thomas Stevens who successfully completed the first bicycle trip around the world.

“Stevens was a prolific writer whose reflections on East-West relations offer a rare glimpse into the late 19th century,” Taylor said.

Stevens traveled more than 13,000 miles through the United States, Europe, and Asia. The bicycle became an instrument of modernity as well as a vehicle for close encounters with peoples and places unknown to most Americans and Europeans.

In addition to analyzing Stevens’ writings, Porter and Taylor reviewed a variety of contemporary newspapers and journals to investigate how the broader public understood and responded to Stevens’ endeavor.

Taylor and Porter collaborated on the article thanks to funding from the Dean’s Research Fellowships program, which supports student and faculty scholarship in the College of Arts and Sciences.

The College of Arts and Sciences, the largest college in Seattle University, offers 42 undergraduate majors, 37 minors, and 7 master’s degrees.