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“Pretty as a Picture”

The Aesthetics of the Picturesque in British Travel Accounts of Tunis (1835–1887)

Imene Gannouni Khemiri

Abstract

Recently, there has been an upsurge of interest in travel writing, postcolonialism, and landscape politics. However, studies of travel writing addressing the notion of the picturesque have not yet explored the idea of aesthetic sensibility in British travel narratives in the Regency of Tunis. This article examines the aesthetics of the picturesque in three British travel accounts: Grenville Temple's Excursions in the Mediterranean: Algiers and Tunis (1835); Robert Lambert Playfair's Travels in the Footsteps of Bruce in Algeria and Tunis (1877); and Henry Spencer Ashbee and Alexander Graham's Travels in Tunisia (1887). These travelers used the picturesque in different but interlinked ways; they oscillated between finding the uncanny landscape an object of delight where it conformed to British aesthetic doctrine and an object of derision where they noted aesthetic deficiencies. By the turn of the nineteenth century, this picturesque way of seeing shifted into an Orientalist desire for “Otherness.”

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Toward Transnationalism

A Reading of Life of Pi

Supriya Agarwal

Abstract

With social and economic boundaries receding, transnationalism is a fast-growing phenomenon in the world. The article highlights the journey undertaken in the novel Life of Pi by the protagonist across several countries, justifying the thought that staying unconditionally loyal to one nation is futile. In contemporary times with a shift in social, economic, and cultural terms, the nation stands deterritorialized. Reaching out across borders in a world where distance and time have crumbled is looked upon as the beginning of the idea of transnationalism. Even the relationship of the protagonist with the unexplored islands has undergone change. Bereft of family, he is a castaway on unknown terrain, a victim of the unforeseen wrath of nature and in intimidation of the island, which he has to leave soon. Shifting focus of the present humanity is explored in the article, establishing the argument of change in the contemporary thought and lifestyle.

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Argentina and the United States’ “Gender Situations” in Eduarda Mansilla de García's Trip Memoirs (1882)

Linda Gruen

Abstract

This article explores the ways in which nineteenth-century Argentine author, Eduarda Mansilla de García, engaged with the issues of women and modernity in her 1882 travelogue, Recuerdos de viaje. It argues that the practice of travel writing served a dual purpose for Mansilla. Publishing a travelogue about the United States enabled Mansilla to trouble Argentine period gender restrictions while at the same critically evaluate North American females. Drawing from theorizations regarding travel writing as a place of power negotiations, I unveil how Mansilla employed her travelogue as a means of validating the cultural capital of Latin American geocultural space in comparison with that of the United States. Consequently, this nineteenth-century Latin American travel narrative did more than the task of light entertainment; it engaged with significant, ongoing period transnational debates regarding modernity, gender, and nation.

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Book Reviews

Amy Cox Hall, Sergio González Varela, Jessica S.R. Robinson, Peter Weisensel, and David Wills

Will Buckingham. Stealing with the Eyes: Imaginings and Incantations in Indonesia (London: HAUS Publishing, 2018), 230pp., ISBN 978-1-909-96142-5, $19.50 (paperback).

Lauren Miller Griffith and Jonathan Marion. Apprenticeship Pilgrimage: Developing Expertise through Travel and Training (Lanham: Lexington Books, 2018), xxx +171 pp., ISBN: 978-1-4985-2990-7, $90 (hardcover).

Brooke A. Porter and Heike A. Schänzel, eds., Femininities in the Field: Tourism and Transdisciplinary Research (Bristol: Channel View Publications, 2018), xiv +213 pp., ISBN-13: 978-1-84541-649-2, $39.95 (paperback).

Edyta M. Bojanowska. A World of Empires: The Russian Voyage of the Frigate Pallada (Cambridge MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2018), viii +373 pp., ISBN: 978-0-674-97640-5, $35 (hardcover).

Efterpi Mitsi. Greece in Early English Travel Writing, 1596–1682 (NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), x + 206 pp., ISBN: 978-3-319-62611-6, £74.99 (hardcover).

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Gender, Curiosity, and the Grand Tour

Late-Eighteenth-Century British Travel Writing

Anna P.H. Geurts

Abstract

Discussions of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century European travel have long tended to over-apply the model of the grand tour. It is increasingly recognized now that many British journeys to the Continent knew different motivations and itineraries, and were made from different subject positions than that of the young male aristocrat. An alternative model proposed for female travelers has its own limitations, however. It presents women as more open-minded than men, with a greater eye for detail and keen to escape patriarchal confinement at home. Yet female travelers’ wish and capacity to offer an alternative to the grand-tourist gaze was limited. Still, travel, travel writing, and publishing offered women a chance to explore new social models and lifestyles and develop new forms of personal independence.

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Islam, Travel, and Learning

A Case Study on Indonesian Muslim Student Diasporas in Saudi Arabia

Sumanto Al Qurtuby

Abstract

This article focuses on the study of the relationship between Islam, travel, and learning by conducting a case study on Indonesian Muslim students who studied (or are studying) in Saudi Arabia. Specifically, it examines the changing dynamics of these students who traveled, immigrated to, and studied in Saudi Arabia in search of knowledge from previous centuries to the contemporary era. This article shows that Indonesian students in this peninsula are deeply plural and complex, far from being a monolithic group in terms of social background, religious affiliation, political orientation, major field of study, and motive of their study, among other factors. Thus, the present article aims at demystifying and challenging the common beliefs and narratives which hold that Saudi Arabia–trained Indonesian students have been exporters of Islamist intolerance, radicalism, or even terrorism.

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Like A Braided River: Rethinking Migration Through The Personal Essay

Andonis Piperoglou

Diane Comer. The Braided River: Migration and the Personal Essay (Otago University Press, 2019), 304 pp., ISBN 9781988531533, $35 (paperback).

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Quest for Identity in Parvin Shere's Pearls from the Ocean

Urooj Akailvi

Abstract

This article analyzes the means of self-representation, the conflicts between self/other, and the conscious and unconscious quest for identity by the writer. It attempts to understand travel narratives as being about the journey undertaken in a quest for identity by the traveler/writer, wherein apart from the physical journey of the author the emphasis is laid on the emotional and psychological journey within the author.

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To travel is to Look, to Look is to Relate

Identity and Otherness in the Account of Otto Nordenskjöld (1902)

Eduardo Gallegos and Jaime Otazo

Abstract

Generally, analyzes of Otto Nordenskjöld's trip to the Antarctic (1901-1904) ignore the preparations that required a previous trip to Chilean-Argentine Patagonia (1894-1897). Even more, these analyzes forget the Colonial dimension of this expedition. This paper intends to fill this void considering for the analysis two images present in the Swedish travel story. The concept of iconology is proposed here as a link between the image (icons) and the story (logos). The aim is to analyze the iconology to discuss the meaningful configuration of an identity gaze—the Europeans—and a gaze on the otherness—the indigenous. The results show that in the iconology presented in the story and in the images, appear paradoxical elements that allow questioning the relevance of the identity-alterity dichotomy through the appearance of third spaces.

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“I Was Not Willing to Risk my Hajj”

Information Coping Strategies of Hajj Pilgrims

Nadia Caidi

Abstract

Information phenomena and behaviors underlie every aspect of contemporary life, including spiritual/religious experiences. Pilgrimage as an information context provides insights into the nature of information and knowledge in the lives of individuals undergoing such transformational experiences. Findings based on interviews with twelve Hajj pilgrims suggest that their information practices are varied and transcend both individual (cognitive, affective) and social processes (through shared imaginaries and a wide network of people and resources). As pilgrims prepare for and complete the rituals, then return home, they make use of a range of coping strategies from triangulation and validation to information avoidance. Examining the information strategies of Hajj pilgrims provide us with insights into their processes of negotiating meaning in shifting and unknown contexts.