Anthropology has had a long and uneasy relationship with the travel writing genre. In the earliest days of the discipline anthropology was a kind of travel writing, and then later, travel accounts formed the basis of much of the ethnographic record
Florian Krobb and Dorit Müller
The Emergence of Scientific Travel Since the early modern era, travel and knowledge have existed in a reciprocally enhancing relationship, as the field of Travel Writing Studies has shown. 1 When there was no other well-defined pragmatic aim
through this analysis. In spite of this, the importance of these authors, even in the narrower field of travel writing, is relatively unknown. This may be in part due to the fact that the study of German colonialism—although now firmly established
Ongoing Ethical and Theoretical Dilemmas
Corinne Fowler and Ludmilla Kostova
As a hybrid discourse cutting across generic and disciplinary boundaries and giving expression to diverse perspectives on a wide gamut of intercultural relations, travel writing has found itself at the centre of a widening field of intellectual inquiry. This special issue focuses on the ethical parameters of travel in a range of texts produced in a variety of historical and national contexts. While the topic is not strikingly novel, the editors and contributors to this issue nevertheless believe that their critical interventions engage fruitfully both with earlier interpretations and current theoretical paradigms. The six essays that comprise this issue concentrate on specific ethical dilemmas, neither attempting fusion into a coherent body of theory nor constructing all-purpose systems of classification, but preferring instead to tackle critical practices and preconceptions from a variety of competing perspectives. As early as 1985 Mary Louise Pratt defined travel writing as ‘one of the most polyphonous of genres’, thereby alerting scholars to its resistance to the ‘disciplined’ mediation of cultural differences (Pratt 1985: 141) and hinting at the futility of generalizing methods of analysis. Taking into account the distinctive features of the object of inquiry itself, the site-specific contributions to this issue are in tune with the anti-universalist thrust of most present-day critical practice.
European Travel Writers and the Making of a Genre—Comment
Steven D. Spalding
hold the promise of creatively bridging this journal’s interest in mobilities with the concerns of travel writing studies. The contributions here seek to inspire a new cast to both Mobility Studies and Literary Studies, driving a cross-pollination of
Michael A. Di Giovine
It has become a Structuralist truism in the social sciences to state that individuals define themselves by what they are not. It has equally become evident that travel—and particularly the voluntary, temporary, and perspectival type that we call tourism—is predicated on interaction with the Other. Travelogues are particularly salient “social facts” in this regard, for they both index such processes of identity formation, as well as contribute to them. Two edited volumes, Rolf-Hagen Schulz-Forberg's Unraveling Civilisation: European Travel and Travel Writing (2005) and John Zilcosky's Writing Travel: The Poetics and Politics of the Modern Journey (2008) provide compelling examples of how the multifarious and complementary processes of travel and travel writing not only index, but construct, European identity.
Under this rubric, Journeys presents Dr Annita Panaretou's assessment of the character of Greek travel writing and its place in a wider Balkan and European context, and a discussion of her position by three other scholars. The debate raises questions that go well beyond the immediate problem posed by the Greek case. What are the roles of history, ideology and emotion in the construction of identities? How does travel writing serve as a site in which these can be expressed, constructed and negotiated? And how, in the light of such issues, should we study particular national travel-writing traditions?
“Savagery” and “Civilization” in the Australian Interwar Imaginary
of Australians traveling to, and through, the Pacific Islands filled diaries, letters, books, magazines, memoirs, and travelogues, many of which found a receptive Australian audience. In this article, I explore Australian travel writing of the
Responses to Travel Literatures and the Problem of Authenticity
, and so on. The real world rarely fits neatly into these categories however. 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
women for whom writing was as much a political as an aesthetic vehicle” ( Kershaw and Kimyongür 2007: 15 ). Debbie Lisle discusses the issue of the ethics of travel writing with reference to critical geography and historiography: travel writing is a