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Abin Chakraborty

remarkable evidence of cultural mobility during the Renaissance that often contradicts orientalist stereotypes of a latter era by creating fluid spaces of self-fashioning. Despite Coryat’s occasional assertions about the greatness of England and the

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Dismissive Diaries, Desiccated Journeys, and Reductive Fictions

Sri Lanka in the Writings of Donald Friend, Shiva Naipaul, and Julian West

S. Walter Perera

Sri Lanka remains a popular site for international travelers despite its recent political instability. In examining texts based on sojourns spent in Sri Lanka by Donald Friend, Shiva Naipaul, and Julian West, this article argues that, though supposedly more informed about the island than their predecessors, these visitors from the latter half of the twentieth century eschew enlightened approaches in their writing for those that continue to exoticize, demonize, or stereotype the island's people, culture, environment, and politics. That their backgrounds and countries of origin are dissimilar makes little difference in their attitudes. The narrative strategies that they employ, which are often calculated to attract a certain kind of Western reader, irretrievably enervate their works and render futile the hopes expressed by recent postcolonial critics: that contemporary writing based on travel could lead to greater intercultural understanding between travelers and the local inhabitants that they encounter on their journeys.

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An Ordinary Place

Aboriginality and 'Ordinary' Australia in Travel Writing of the 1990s

Robert Clarke

Recent Australian travel narratives are distinguished by the way they represent Indigenous Australian cultures. Moreover, the experience of white Australian culture in recent travel writing by visiting authors like Bill Bryson (In a Sunburned Country/Down Under, 2000), Annie Caulfield (The Winners' Enclosure, 1999), and Mark McCrum (No Worries, 1997) is influenced by the authors' experiences of Aboriginality and Australia's heritage of colonialism and race relations. Following a trend in contemporary travel writing to explore ordinary life, the works of Bryson, Caulfield and McCrum seek 'ordinary Australia' and discover, through encounters with Aboriginality, a place and culture far removed from either the stereotypes of tourist brochures, or the quirky characters that inhabit the soap operas and films that have advertised Australia to the rest of the world.

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Sex, Sleaze, Slaughter, and Salvation

Phoren Tourists and Slum Tours in Calcutta (India)

Atreyee Sen

This article explores the violence and voyeurism in viewing poverty in urban slums. By uncovering the social, economic, gendered, and racialized politics within a small-scale travel industry, I show how the latter cater to certain personal, sexual, and religious curiosities among a breed of travelers visiting developing countries. I did my ethnography in the slums of Calcutta, where travel entrepreneurs organized a range of discreet tours of ghettoes for white foreigners (primarily from Australia or the United States). These popular expeditions offered “sightings,” such as half-naked women bathing at water tanks, ritualistic animal sacrifice, and neighborhoods for prostitutes. While reinforcing stereotypes of the primitive other (as opposed to the exotic other), these secret tours allowed travelers to indulge in a range of emotions, from real life voyeurism to “showing gratitude to God for being civilized.” By emphasizing the ambivalences and contradictions in viewing and representing the other, this article argues further that the immoral and critical gaze of a small group of foreign tourists can affect the nature of morality and commercialism among large sections of the urban poor in India.

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William Dalrymple

Following the success of Edward Said's groundbreaking work Orientalism (1979), an entire school of criticism has attempted to apply Said's ideas to the whole range of colonial writings and art. Some of these applications have proved more suitable than others, and there sometimes seems to be an assumption at work in academia - especially in the US - that all writings of the colonial period exhibit exactly the same sets of prejudices. It is as if there is at work a monolithic, modern, academic Occidentalism which seems to match the monolithic stereotypes perceived in the original Orientalism uncannily. Fanny Parkes, author of Wanderings of a Pilgrim in Search of the Picturesque (1850), has not escaped this academic pigeon-holing, and has recently been the subject of two academic articles which would have her implicit in the project of gathering 'Colonial knowledge' and 'imbricated with the project of Orientalism' - in other words an unwitting outrider of colonialism, attempting to 'appropriate' Indian learning and demonstrate the superiority of Western ways by 'imagining' India as decayed and degenerate, fit only to be colonised and 'civilised'. Anyone who reads Fanny Parkes's writing with an open mind cannot but see this as a wilful misreading of the whole thrust of her text, an attempt to fit her book into a mould which it simply does not fit.

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“We Are a Traveling People”

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

Emilia Ljungberg

, a national identity and way of being, is a constant topic in travel journalism and is presented not least through well-established stereotypes about, for example, the passionate and corrupt Southern Europeans. In contrast to these the Swede is calm

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Making Friends of the Nations

Australian Interwar Magazines and Middlebrow Orientalism in the Pacific

Victoria Kuttainen and Sarah Galletly

taste, “tainted,” as we have argued with Susann Liebich, “by its association with the racial stereotypes it circulated and [placed] outside parameters of high cultural value” ( Kuttainen et al. 2015: 157 ). Dixon contends that The BP Magazine drew on

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What Am I Still Doing Here?

Travel, Travel Writing, and Old Age

Robin Jarvis

of home” ( Chaney 1995: 220 ). Clearly this stereotype of the older traveler has nothing in common with the travel preferences and practices of the writers I am focusing on in this essay and of others like them, but the power of that stereotype may be

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Linda Gruen

. Certain stereotypes regarding North American women prevailed in tourist accounts. Two of the most popular images were opposites: “the philanthropic woman,” a strong, self-sacrificing figure, and the “cosmetic woman,” a female motivated by materialism

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Stepping through the Silver Screen

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

Anne Rees

Neighbors , a magazine dedicated to dispelling popular stereotypes about the two nations and maintaining the bonds of friendship forged during the war. Yet despite this growing acquaintance with the “real” America and its people, cinematic images of the US