Often invoked in youth programming, the term adventure encapsulates the promise of voyaging to distant, exotic lands and reaping scientific discoveries as rewards. The youthful connotation also masks malicious intent and consequences, positioning colonial scientists, traders and traffickers as innocent boyish explorers. However, the history that underscores adventure narratives is often one of resource extraction and imperial conquest and the premise for “discovering” new lands rests upon on the violent erasure of Indigenous histories and the framing of the inhabitants of newly-discovered lands as lesser, whose lifeways on the land somehow don’t count as human settlement and continuous presence.[i] Also see: Discovery.
[i] For more on the imperialist undertones in adventure narratives, see Nilay Erdem Ayyildiz, British Children’s Adventure Novels in the Web of Colonialism, (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2018) and ‘British readers and writers need to address their colonial past’, The Guardian, 23rd January 2014 https://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/jan/23/british-readers-writers-embrace-colonial-past.