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Mark Tully on India and Hinduism

From the Political to the Personal

Nivedita Misra

The article looks at the unique position of Mark Tully in talking about India and the role of travel in developing his oeuvre of writing. The article contextualizes Tully's “English” identity and problematizes the colonial spaces that dislodge the concept of a national identity based on boundaries. It also relates the traveler's sense of engagement at a deeper level due to his participation in India's national life at various levels, analyzing his two residences and his awareness of two different audiences. It posits that a look at the culture of the Other makes the writer self-aware of his own upbringing, religious beliefs, and social understanding. It also positions the traveler as an interpreter of cultures—the others and his own—tracing the development of his perspective from his No Full Stops in India (1991) to India: The Road Ahead (2011).

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The Poetry of Cities

On Discovering Poems in Istanbul, Sarajevo, and Bratislava

Daniel Xerri

This article discusses how poetry allowed a first-time traveler to three different cities to explore each place and his identity as a traveler. Focusing on Istanbul, Sarajevo, and Bratislava, the article describes the experience of using a poem the traveler finds in each city to serve as a guide to its spirit. By referring to issues related to anthropology, post-colonialism, politics, history, the social sciences, and cultural studies, this article discusses the transformation experienced by the traveler as a result of both a physical and inner journey.

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“This is a Civilized Nation, and a Man From the East Has No Right to Criticize It”

Indian Visitors at the 1893 Columbian Exposition

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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Early Modern Travel, Conversion, and Languages of “DIfference”

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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Introduction

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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Book Reviews

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