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Anupama Arora

This article examines the travel narratives of three Indian visitors to the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Occupying a precarious space between spectacle and spectator at the World's Fair, these visitors returned the ethnographic gaze and instead offered cultural self-representation that co-existed with and contested the prevalent perceptions of India (and other non-Western peoples). In the process, their narratives both questioned the civilized/primitive dichotomy as well as disrupted the grand official narrative of Anglo-Saxon supremacy and progress celebrated at the exposition.

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Classifying the Natives in Early Modern Ethnographies

Henry Lord's A Display of Two Foreign Sects in the East Indies (1630)

Amrita Sen and Jyotsna G. Singh

This article examines the politics and rhetorics of early modern ethnography via Henry Lord's famous treatise A Display of Two Foreign Sects in the East Indies (1630). Lord, a chaplain with the East India Company, attempted to classify Indian religious and caste identities—particularly those of the Banians—at a time when England's trading fortunes in India were still tenuous, though promising. Turning to the Shaster which he understands as the Banian Bible, Lord offers his readers a glimpse into Hindu mythologies—stories of genesis and the flood—which result in the creation of the four Indian castes. Understood in terms of humoral, psychological, and moral taxonomies these castes fall within emergent proto-racial hierarchies. Simultaneously, the journeys of the four brothers—Brammon, Cuttery, Shuddery, and Wyse—progenitors of their respective castes reenact familiar tropes of European travel writing combining the logic of profit with the “discovery” of hitherto unclaimed lands and erotic bodies.

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Matthew Dimmock

Starting with the observation that there is a failure in an English language of “difference” associated with travel and trade in the late sixteenth century, this article explores the nature and consequences of that failure. Particular emphasis is placed on conversion—the evaluation and acceptance of an “alien” body into the Anglican community—and an analysis of John Foxe's A sermon preached at the christening of a certaine Iew (1578) and Meredith Hanmer's The Baptizing of a Turke (1586). Diplomatic and travel texts are considered to demonstrate the use of an earlier lexicon of heresy alongside contemporary ideas concerning the equivalence of Roman Catholicism, Judaism, and Islam. In the last decade or so many scholars have identified problems with the critical language in which these issues are discussed, in particular the notion of early modern England and its “others”. In evaluating the failure of a language of “difference,” this article suggests an alternative critical vocabulary.

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“I satt and saw”

Negotiating the Gaze in the Travel Writings of Anthony Munday and Thomas Dallam

Chloë Houston

In “eyewitness” accounts of the Mediterranean by Anthony Munday and Thomas Dallam, assertions of allegiance to Elizabethan England are destabilized by the physicality of “looking.” Early modern theories of vision and post-Reformation constructions of the viewed contributed to conceptualizations of objectified spectacle as a source of physical threat to the viewer. This article explores Munday's and Dallam's negotiations of the physicality of visual experiences as the authors participate in interactive modes of viewing demanded by the rituals and ceremonies of strangers. Witnessing a Jesuit whipping himself before devotional objects at the English college in Rome in 1578, Munday's emphasis on his physical difference to the Jesuit reproduces the idolatrous interaction with the viewed that this author critiques. Describing his presentation of a mechanical organ to the Sultan Mehmed III in Constantinople in 1599, Dallam's spectatorship is distorted as he becomes a functional part of the ceremonial display of this instrument.

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Eva Johanna Holmberg and Chloë Houston

What did early modern English people think about “strangers”? This speech from the play Sir Thomas More, written by Anthony Munday and others and first performed in the early 1590s, gives an emphatic answer to this question. Strangers were “aliens” who “braved and abused ... freeborn Englishmen” (1.1.111, 74, 72). By their presence in London they stole both food and women from their rightful English owners, committing “vild enormities” and “insolencies” against the native people (1.1.81, 90). The extract above comes from a playbill designed by the broker John Lincoln, who calls on the “worshipful lords and masters of the city” to bring these injustices to an end (1.1.106-7). The text of the bill is taken verbatim from Holinshed’s 1587 Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland, which related the events dramatized in the play, the “Ill May Day” protests of 1517.

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Jews of All Trades

Jews and Their Professions in Early Modern English Travel Writing

Eva Johanna Holmberg

This article explores early modern English travelers' representations of and responses to the trades and professions of contemporary Jews. Professions were important social markers for early modern people, and the way Jews and their “professions” were commented on opens a novel perspective on the ways early modern Englishmen encountered Jews both in Europe and outside it. Observing foreign professions and trades was expected of travelers, since it revealed important aspects of foreign societies, their prosperity, civility, and treatment of their subjects. Portrayals of Jewish professionals provided a space to explore the customs and way of life of Jews, to present arguments for and against admitting Jews, or indeed any other strangers, to reside in England and elsewhere. In addition, these texts educated readers about foreign trades and professions and mapped the fluctuations of trade and commerce in foreign countries. This provided English readers of travel literature with conflicting information about the harms and benefits of Jewish presence, accusations of the innate greediness of Jews, but also views about their “natural” business instincts.

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Self-Fashioning and Auto-Ethnography

Samuel Baron's Description of Tonqueen (1686)

Anna Winterbottom

Samuel Baron's A Description of the Kingdom of Tonqueen (1686) contains many tropes of the European travel narrative. However, its author was no stranger to the country, but was born to a Vietnamese mother and Dutch father in mid-seventeenth-century Hanoi. Here I discuss how Baron fashioned his identity during his life to attract multiple patrons in the unstable maritime world of Southeast and East Asia. I re-read his Description as an example of “auto-ethnography,” showing how the author shaped his work to achieve certain ends. A comparison with a contemporary Chinese description of northern Vietnam reveals many similarities in tone and approach and helps situate Baron's text within the commercial and diplomatic exchanges of the region.

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Alessandro Nova, The Book of the Wind: The Representation of the Invisible (2011) Reviewed by Tomas Macsotay

Tej Vir Singh, Critical Debates in Tourism (2012) Reviewed by Chiara Gius

Fabian Frenzel, Ko Koens, and Malte Steinbrink, eds., Slum Tourism: Poverty, Power and Ethics (2012) Reviewed by Clare A. Sammells

Jennifer Laing and Warwick Frost, Books and Travel: Inspiration, Quests and Transformation (2012) Reviewed by Olga Denti

Stuart Alexander Rockefeller, Starting from Quirpini: The Travels and Places of a Bolivian People (2010) Reviewed by Marie D. Price

Churnjeet Mahn, British Women's Travel to Greece, 1840-1914: Travels in the Palimpsest (2012) Reviewed by Semele Assinder

Naghmeh Sohrabi, Taken for Wonder: Nineteenth-Century Travel Accounts from Iran to Europe (2012) Reviewed by Arash Khazeni

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The Concept of the Primitive in Texts and Images

From Colonial Travelogues to Tourist Blogs in Southwestern Ethiopia

Tamás Régi

The question of the cultural Other has always been central in the anthropology of tourism. The predominant way in which the Other appears in writings about Africa is as a manifestation of primitiveness. But the concept of the primitive tends to be treated in this literature in general terms, rather than analyzed through specific case studies. This article presents an image-dependent historiographical case study of the concept of the primitive through an analysis of colonial travelogues, hunting stories, guide and coffee table books and tourist blogs relating to the lower Omo Valley of southwestern Ethiopia. The article investigates how the trope of the primitive has been used as a politically and culturally powerful ideology and argues that a visual-historical methodology is an effective tool to explicate the social history of the primitive, an idea that draws many Western tourists to visit remote corners of Africa and seek out exotic tribes. The article is based on an extended period of anthropological field research and an extensive analysis of secondary sources.

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Florence Fröhlig

This article examines visits by French people to the former Soviet prison camp in Tambov, Russia, where Alsatians-Mosellans men were imprisoned during World War II. Because the memory of these prisoners of war, conscripted by force into the German army during the war is disappearing together with the witnesses, some survivors organized in the 1990s journeys to the Tambov former prison camp, called “pilgrimages.“ There are currently two kinds of pilgrimages: pilgrimages for survivors of the camp and their close relatives and pilgrimages for grandchildren of former Tambov inmates. This article suggests that the pilgrims, confronting their past, are engaged with a process of identity making, and that pilgrimage provides pilgrims with the opportunity to confront their grief for the dead or their sense of injustice and to let go of the past. The article concludes that with the pilgrimage the value of Tambov as a place of death is re-evaluated.