This article examines Freya Stark's life-writing over a forty-year period in order to shed light on her experience of Baghdad from 1929 to 1933. The article focuses on Stark's resistance to expected feminine norms of the British community, and contextualizes her experience alongside that of Gertrude Bell and Stefana Drower. Stark's experiences, and those of Drower, reveal the ways in which British women resisted the mundane expatriate lifestyle, and gained a great deal of cultural understanding though their interaction with Iraqis. Furthermore, the article discusses Stark's work at the Baghdad Times, a literary apprenticeship that also led to the publication of Baghdad Sketches. The article not only highlights the plurality of autobiographical presentation characteristic of Stark's oeuvre, but also reveals how Stark refashioned her experiences throughout her life, taking into account her changing status and the different political and cultural climates in which the works were published.
Freya Stark's Baghdad Sketches
(Re)Constructing Switzerland through Travel Writing
Sara Steinert Borella
Swiss authors and travelers Ella Maillart and Annemarie Schwarzenbach set off to drive from Switzerland to Afghanistan in a Ford roadster in late 1939, shortly before the outbreak of World War II. Their subsequent texts reveal as much about cultural norms prevalent in Switzerland in the late 1930s as they do about the actual journey to Afghanistan. This article explores Ella Maillart's The Cruel Way (1947) and Annemarie Schwarzenbach's All the Roads Are Open (2011) as constructions of the humanitarian principles that the Swiss have come to call their own. Both travel narratives call into question the national value of neutrality while echoing the language of emerging political and legal human rights discourses. The travel narratives of Maillart and Schwarzenbach thus contribute to the development of a literary discourse of human rights that will later become the standard narrative for Switzerland during and following World War II.
Being a Man in Balkan Travel Writing
Much modern Western travel writing presents Eastern Europe, and especially the Balkans, as a sort of museum of masculinity: an area where men, whether revolutionaries, politicians or workers, are depicted as behaving in ways that are seen as almost exaggeratedly masculine according to the standards of the traveller. Physical toughness and violence, sexual conquest and the subordination of women, guns, strong drink and moustaches feature heavily. This is a region where men are men - and sometimes so are the women, whether 'sworn virgins' living their lives as honorary men, heroic female partisans or, in more derisive accounts, alarmingly muscular and hirsute athletes, stewardesses and waitresses. But the notion of a characteristically masculine Balkans is not limited to outsiders. It can appear in travel accounts from the region as well, ranging from Aleko Konstantinov's emblematic fictional Bulgarian traveller, Bai Ganyo Balkanski, with his boorish disregard of European norms of behaviour (Konstantinov 1895/1966), to more polished travel writers who nonetheless find it useful to contrast a 'Balkan' model to Western versions of manliness.
that served to grant her greater freedom to transgress gender norms regarding content. Indeed, what seemed most striking to foreign visitors to the United States were those gender freedoms being debated in their own countries that appeared already to
Brian Yothers, Gillian Dooley, Guy Galazka, Peter Weisensel, Jackie Coon, Magdalena Banaszkiewicz, and David Cashman
Tell My Horse (1938). Totten is especially interested in Hurston’s self-conscious negotiation of anthropological professional norms as well as the way in which she grapples with the task of representing West Indian culture without exploiting it
Difference and Self-transformation through Buddhist Volunteer Tourism in Thailand
, uncharacteristically, she is not insulted but instead has learned to “let it go” and not be concerned with how she looks ( Amanda 2010 ). Although these particular differences might not have been expected, it was the distinct social norms and behaviors she encountered
Jackie Clarke, Melanie Kay Smith, Margret Jäger, Anne O’Connor, and Robert Shepherd
suggesting that peaceful coexistence will be impossible so long as a “recurrent stigmatization of the Serbian community and the unconditional glorification of Bosnian Muslims” is the norm (50). Naef argues that a more balanced retelling of the war would be
William Nessly, Noel B. Salazar, Kemal Kantarci, Evan Koike, Christian Kahl, and Cyril Isnart
constructed identities that transcended dominant Japanese gender norms by acting out such roles as the tomboy and the masculine female. Moreover, Satsuka analyzes effectively the conflicting meanings of the Japanese word for “freedom,” “jiyū,” which draws from
attendant processes of otherizing narrative maneuvers that accepted Christianity and European—particularly English—standards as the norm. Such privileging necessitated the representation of India, the Mughal rulers, and its religious, social, and cultural
Nicholas F. Russell
the norm. Most of the cities and towns had many fine houses and were quite admirable. The great city of Nan-kang was said to be “well built, and populous”; Kau-yeu had “magnificent” suburbs, full of large, connected buildings; Whay-ngnan has