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John Bodinger de Uriarte, Paula Mota Santos, and Song Yun

Randy Malamud, The Importance of Elsewhere: The Globalist Humanist Tourist. Chicago/Intellect, The University of Chicago Press, 2018, vii + 236 pp., ISBN-13: 978-1783208746, $29.50 (paperback).

Mark Rice, Making Machu Picchu: The Politics of Tourism in Twentieth Century Peru (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2018), xvi + 253 pp., ISBN 978-1-4696-4353-3, $28.75 (paperback).

Jeffrey Mather, Twentieth-Century Literary Encounters in China: Modernism, Travel, and Form (New York: Routledge, 2020), ix + 182 pp., ISBN 978-1-03-208815-0, US $48.95 (paperback).

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Bruce Chatwin

What He Was Doing Here

Kurt Caswell

This article is an attempt to answer the question Bruce Chatwin posed in the title of the last book published during his life: What Am I Doing Here. A critical focus on Chatwin’s masterwork, The Songlines, and its exploration of nomadism paired with wandering, leads to an exploration of his lifelong quest for spiritual renewal and ascension. Part literary criticism, part personal essay, the article makes personal connections with Chatwin’s life and work. Included here are several book lists, featuring an extensive list of books that Chatwin read and references in his own writing, assembled possibly for the first time.

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Ryan Nutting

The travel journal, collecting, and exhibition of objects by museum founder, tea merchant and Member of Parliament Frederick Horniman (1835–1906) in the late nineteenth century demonstrate how material objects exemplify travel writing. Through an examination of objects he collected and later interpreted at the Horniman Free Museum, this article presents a case study of how collecting activities mirror and serve as a form of travel writing. This article presents a new model for understanding, beyond the written word, how travelers can capture the experience of a foreign expedition through the collecting and interpretation of objects.

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Gary McCarron

This article describes two journeys. The first is the journey undertaken by Christian missionary John Allen Chau to North Sentinel Island, where he planned to preach the Christian gospel to the island’s inhabitants despite the fact that they have been cut off from the outside world for sixty thousand years. Chau’s efforts ended in his death at the hands of the islanders. The second journey recounted in the article is that from missionary to saint undertaken following Chau’s death. The article examines several issues related to certain philosophical problems in respect of the authority required to designate a victim of violent death a martyr or a saint.

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Vandana Sukheeja and JapPreet Kaur Bhangu

This article explores the interconnections between mobility and identity as portrayed in Kiran Desai’s The Inheritance of Loss (2006). In the past, mobility, especially forced or diasporic, was perceived as enveloping the migrant’s identity with a sense of alienation and nostalgia. In the present, however, it is often viewed as facilitating flexibility and a pluralistic worldview entailing intermingled cultures. While examining the interrelation between mobility and identity, this article evaluates the way in which Desai portrays conflicts and tension between two worlds, inhabited by legal natives and illegal migrants, as well as illegal natives and legal migrants.

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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.