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Erve Chambers, Lauren Miller Griffith, Angus Mitchell, and Frances Julia Riemer

Naomi M. Leite, Quetzil E. Castañeda, and Kathleen M. Adams, eds., The Ethnography of Tourism: Edward Bruner and Beyond (Lanham: Lexington Books, 2019), ix + 303 pp., ISBN 978-1-4985-1633-4, $95.00 (hardcover)

Sergio González Varela, Capoeira, Mobility, and Tourism: Preserving an Afro-Brazilian Tradition in a Globalized World (Lanham: Lexington Books, 2019), 184 pp., ISBN 978-1-4985-7032-9, $90 (hardcover)

Sarah LeFanu, Something of Themselves: Kipling, Kingsley, Conan Doyle and the Anglo-Boer War (London: Hurst & Co, 2020), viii + 408 pp., ISBN: 978178733098, $29.95 (hardcover)

Bryan S.R. Grimwood, Heather Mair, Kelle Caton, and Meghan Muldoon, Tourism and Wellness: Travel for the Good for All? (Lanham MD: Lexington Books, 2018), xxxi + 218 pp., 978-1-4985-6329-190000, $95 (hardcover)

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Carte blanche to Travel Narrative

Philippe Vasset's Un livre blanc

Sara Bédard-Goulet


The “spatial turn” in the humanities has pointed out how space is produced and how it is affected by power relations, while critical geography has identified the impact of these relations on cartographic representation of space. The presence of maps in travel narratives thus carries certain ideologies and influences the narratives. In Un livre blanc: récit avec cartes [A Blank Book: Narrative with Maps] (2007), contemporary French author Philippe Vasset attempts to describe the fifty blank spaces that he has noticed on the topographic map of Paris and its suburbs and visited over a one-year period. This article analyzes the major impact of maps on this narrative and the representation of space that it creates. Despite a direct experience of these “blank spaces”, the narrator is affected by a “cartographic performativity” that prompts him to treat space as a map, and he aims to write as a disembodied cartographer.

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Bernadette Andrea


This article focuses on two twentieth-century Anglophone Arab women writers’ accounts of their travels to “the West”: Leila Ahmed's A Border Passage: From Cairo to America—A Woman's Journey (1999), and Fatema Mernissi's Scheherazade Goes West: Different Cultures, Different Harems (2001). While their engagement with orientalist conceptions of the harem has received some attention, how and why they deploy Sufi texts, concepts, and cosmologies to advance their “double critique” of local and colonial patriarchies has not been subject to a sustained analysis, despite its salience in their travelogues. This article establishes that the Sufi praxis of travel (safar) becomes a facilitating framework, and ultimately a methodology derived from culturally grounded ways of knowing and being, for their overdetermined journeys toward what has been called “Islamic feminism.”

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Itzel Toledo García


This article aims to explore British traveler James Bryce's political analysis of the Porfirian regime. In October 1901, Bryce visited Mexico and wrote letters to his family portraying his stay. Afterward, based upon his travel account, he spoke about the country in two conferences, one time in Oxford (1902) and another in Aberdeen (1903). Later on, he wrote about Mexico in his book South America: Observations and Impressions (1912), which was the result of his travels through Latin America in 1901 and 1910. We shall explore Bryce's position toward the Porfirian regime, from disinterest in Porfirio Díaz's despotism and the political elite in 1901 to admiration of its achievement of peace and progress in 1911 once the Mexican Revolution had commenced.

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“Many and Dreadful Disasters”

Mediterranean Travel, Plague, and Quarantine in the Late Eighteenth Century

Kathryn Walchester


Our recent experiences of quarantine during the COVID-19 outbreak have exposed the vulnerability of poorer members of society and has highlighted their increased suffering during the period of restricted mobility. This article considers the way in which quarantine exacerbates inequalities from a historical perspective, looking at enforced periods of restricted travel and its impact on servants and lower-class British travelers of the eighteenth century in Europe. It examines both the history of representations of plague and contagion, and some of the human reactions to fears of disease, one of which was the imposition of quarantine measures. Three main sources are referred to: Patrick Brydone's A Tour through Sicily and Malta in a Series of Letters to William Beckford, published in 1790; Elizabeth, Lady Craven's “A Journey through the Crimea to Constantinople in a series of Letters,” published in 1789; and the unpublished letters of William Fletcher, manservant to Lord Byron, from his journeys in 1811. The texts produced by these travelers from the eighteenth century offer rich material for the consideration of the impact of mobility and immobility both of and on the body and how these experiences were strikingly different depending on the social class of the traveler.

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“Pretty as a Picture”

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

Imene Gannouni Khemiri


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


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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Linda Gruen


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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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


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.