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Touring the Regions

(Dis) Uniting the Kingdom on Holiday

Hazel Andrews

Abstract

This article is concerned with social constructions of identity as they are manifest in the charter tourism resorts of Magaluf and Palmanova on the Mediterranean island of Mallorca. Based on ethnographic fieldwork involving periods of participant observation, the article highlights the ways in which mediators of tourists’ experiences feed into and off ideas of national identity and how these are practiced, consumed, and performed as an effervescent Britishness. At the same time, the article explores the ways in which this Britishness is informed by regional identities and differences linked to senses of self. The article highlights issues relating to social cohesion at a broad level in society, which has implications for inclusivity at a time when, post-Brexit referendum, these issues appear ever more urgent.

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“We Are a Traveling People”

Tourism, Travel Journalism, and the Construction of a Modern National Identity in Sweden

Emilia Ljungberg

Abstract

Tourism research has analyzed how modern nations are marketed to attract tourists from abroad and how domestic tourism has been used in the construction of national identities. Less attention has been given to the construction of outbound tourism as a central aspect of how a nation becomes modern. The following article studies Swedish travel journalism in the 1930s, when older forms of masculine colonial travel shared space with modern tourism trips. Even though few Swedes could travel abroad, tourism, both domestic and outbound, was vividly discussed as an established practice. To travel was practically a duty and something that would make the Swedes healthy, modern, and worldly. It would also foster proper national sentiments. The ideal of a warm but not chauvinistic celebration of one’s own country is a common Swedish position in relation to the world.

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A Journey to Australia

Travel, Media, and the Politics of Representation

Helen Bones

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Making Friends of the Nations

Australian Interwar Magazines and Middlebrow Orientalism in the Pacific

Victoria Kuttainen and Sarah Galletly

Abstract

As travel began to massify in the aftermath of the Great War when passenger ships still regularly stopped at ports of call, and as Australia developed a sub-imperial relationship to its near Melanesian neighbors in Papua and New Guinea, the Pacific and its islands loomed large in Australians’ consciousness and print culture. This article employs Christina Klein’s concept of “middlebrow orientalism” to examine how Australia’s quality magazines, MAN and The BP Magazine, reflected an “expansive material and symbolic investment in Asia and the Pacific” (2003: 11) between the two world wars. While development of a consumerist, leisure relationship with the region is in evidence in these magazines that undoubtedly assume the superiority of White Australia, we argue they also promote diversity, inclusiveness, and an emerging maturity in outlook that conveyed the way in which Australians began to understand themselves as Pacific citizens wishing to “make friends of the nations.”

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Mediating the Rural Ideal

The Australian Town in Twentieth-Century Travel

Louise Prowse

Abstract

Australian country towns have always played a crucial role in rural tourism. But during the twentieth century, the role of the country town shifted from being a base from which to explore the rural ideal, to being the central destination in which to experience what the rural ideal had to offer. This research identifies cycles in the ways that country towns have been represented in tourist media throughout the twentieth century, from places facilitating rural travel for health, to sites of modern comfort and amenities, to destinations of historic rural charm and as sites to sample gourmet produce and cherry-pick aspects of rural life. Media images of rural travel produced by local tourism campaigns, regional collaborations and state tourism bureaus all point to a significant shift in how travelers partake in the rural ideal. They suggest that the country town became the central expression of the Australian rural ideal for the twentieth century tourist.

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“Space without People”

Austro-German Filmmaker, Bestselling Author, and Journalist Colin Ross Discovers Australia

Siegfried Mattl

Abstract

In 1929 prominent Austro-German filmmaker and author Colin Ross visited Australia with his family for several months. In his literary and cinematic work on Australia Ross establishes a perplexing argument: Australia’s “nordic myth” (the White Australia policy) exposes the continent to the peril of an Asian invasion. In accordance with concepts of cultural hegemony within the framework of so-called German liberal imperialism and driven by Germany’s ambition to re-establish a presence in its former colonial realm, he advocates for the forced immigration of South European laborers to the continent to populate the vast “empty space” of Australia and guard against the menacing consequences of a British-Japanese pact. This article discusses the visual and literary strategies employed by Ross to popularize geo-political thinking in Germany, thereby inducing a shift in the travelogue genre from appealing to “colonial desire” to promoting the politics of an emerging imperialism.

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Stepping through the Silver Screen

Austro-German Filmmaker, Bestselling Author, and Journalist Colin Ross Discovers Australia

Anne Rees

Abstract

During the mid-twentieth century, Hollywood cinema exerted a powerful influence upon Australian imaginings of the United States. In contrast to the flood of information moving between the Antipodes and Britain, America was relatively unknown, with little aside from film reels making the journey across the Pacific. This article examines how saturation in Hollywood imagery mediated the travel experience of Australian women who stepped through the silver screen and visited America itself. The writings of female transpacific travelers are peppered with references to Hollywood, which is cited as a source of crude preconceptions about America, and also appears as a point of comparison to the author’s own experience. Yet these texts almost never refer to specific films or actors, and instead use Hollywood as a shorthand to denote glamour, affluence, and urban living. The article suggests, therefore, that travelers’ discussions of “Hollywood” were often concerned less with American film than American modernity, and therefore also provide insight into Australian attitudes towards the modern.

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Travel Writers and Traveling Writers in Australasia

Responses to Travel Literatures and the Problem of Authenticity

Helen Bones

Abstract

This article compares responses to travel writing and imaginative fiction about the settler colonies, in particular Australia and New Zealand, between 1870 and 1945—a time when distinctions between travel, mobility, and emigration were hard to pin down. Very little scholarship has shown an interest in what the subject society’s inhabitants thought of its portrayal, and what this can tell us about colonial and national identities. Australasian responses to works about Australasia, in the form of published reviews, were influenced by the knowledge and particular concerns of the reviewer and their own negotiations with identity. What mattered to readers and critics was the authenticity of the portrayal of the place, but this was not only related to whether the work claimed to be fiction or non-fiction. The perceived level of familiarity that the writer had with the area was the most important factor in determining whether the reception of a work was positive or negative.

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The True Story of Gundagai’s Dog on the Tuckerbox

Tourists, Truth, and the Insouciance of Souvenirs

Richard White

Abstract

Gundagai’s statue of the Dog on the Tuckerbox, about half way between Melbourne and Sydney, was arguably Australia’s most popular purpose-built tourist attraction for half a century from its unveiling in 1932. This article uses the monument as a case study to consider the ways in which the past is visualized as it is turned into tourism. In what has been called the “circle of representation,” tourists’ understandings of the places they visit are shaped by the preconceptions created by pre-existing media representations through art, postcards, photography, posters, tourist brochures, souvenirs, and so on. In the case of the Dog on the Tuckerbox, the expurgated language of souvenirs, as they multiplied through the twentieth century, came to displace oral dissemination of earlier more vulgar meanings attached to the original story that was the inspiration for the monument.

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Book Reviews

Jamie McMenamin, Lauri Hyers, Jeroen Nawijn, and Aviva Sinervo