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Tourist versus Traveler Revisited

Back to the Eighteenth Century

Giuli Liebman Parrinello

Although a great deal has been written about the constantly debated relationship between tourist and traveler (tourism and travel) with often quite different ideological approaches being adopted, nevertheless consensus still seems to be a distant reality. In this article, the reasons for this apparent theoretical impasse are explored by tracing its historical origins. Most scholars agree that tourism as a modern phenomenon appeared on the horizon of Western European society in the second half of the eighteenth century, thereby allowing a broad historical and dualistic conceptualization of tourism, which added to its dynamic characteristic (travel) a notion of temporary sojourn including leisure (villeggiatura, spas, etc.). The background of an articulated Enlightenment revealed not only a new anthropological curiosity about the Other, but also features like conspicuous consumption and eudaemonism, which played and continue to exert a fundamental role in the tourism of yesterday and today. Furthermore, the emerging dialectic between the new social actor (the tourist) and the movement (tourism) can currently be read as a substantial and dramatic “figuration“ (Elias 1978a), encompassing unforeseen consequences within the framework of communication.

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Collecting and Memory

A Study of Travel Archives

Lee Arnold and Thomas van der Walt

People’s travel collections serve as a memory aid to help them write travelogues, novels, or scientific reports when they return home. They may also have merely been a way to document a voyage or journey for future generations. Under the surface of any of these end uses is simply the need to collect, the need to hold on to memory—in the form of material culture, ephemera, photographic documentation or assiduous note taking. Travel archives are the materials (either in manuscript form or printed ephemera) that document the purposeful travel of an individual or group. Like family papers, they may be perceived as having limited value beyond their fellow travelers or family members. Irrespective of the motivation of the traveler, these collections often end up in repositories. How an archivist deals with this material is crucial to its future use.

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Performing Identity

Early Seventeenth-Century Travelers to the Ruins of Troy

Vassiliki Markidou

The article focuses on three early-seventeenth-century (English and Scottish) leisure travelers’ accounts of the (alleged) ruins of Homeric Troy, namely those penned by Thomas Coryat, William Lithgow, and George Sandys. It argues that their rumination on the specific remains both shaped and reflected their manifold, fractured, and precarious identities while it also highlighted the complex dialogue taking place in these texts between a ruinous past and a fragmented and malleable present. The essay also examines the three travelers’ broken poetics, interspersed in the aforementioned accounts, and shows that they constitute highly self-aggrandizing narratives through which their authors perform their fragile identities.

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Maureen Mulligan

This article contrasts two accounts by women written between 1936 and 1939 describing their experiences of Spain during the Spanish Civil War. The aim is to question how far travel writers have a political and ethical relation to the place they visit and to what extent they deal with this in their texts. The global politics of travel writing and the distinction between colonial and cosmopolitan travel writers affect the way a foreign culture is articulated for the home market through discursive and linguistic strategies. The texts are Kate O’Brien’s Farewell Spain (1937) and Gamel Woolsey’s Death’s Other Kingdom: A Spanish Village in 1936 (1939). The conclusions suggest women adopt a range of positions toward the Spanish conflict, depending on their personal commitment and their contact with local people, but their concern to articulate the experience of others in time of crisis has a strong ethical component.

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Miriam L. Wallace

Best known as political radicals and novelists, Mary Wollstonecraft and Thomas Holcroft each wrote a travel narrative: Letters Written During a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark ([1796] 1987) and Travels from Hamburg through Westphalia, Holland and the Netherlands to Paris (1804), respectively. Despite their specific differences, both Wollstonecraft and Holcroft reconfigure travel as a politically inflected act of cultural encounter, resisting both the Grand Tour tradition of elite education and Romantic travel as an asocial and personal experience of the sublime. Although Wollstonecraft's account has been examined as a kind of feminine sublime or roman à clef, her political project has frequently been elided, seen as separate from the personal affect of her account. Holcroft's narrative is simply neglected. Reading these two travel accounts as products of late eighteenth-century British radical reform and developing Romantic sensibility enhances our understanding of eighteenth-century travel narrative and British Romanticism itself.

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The Poetry of Cities

On Discovering Poems in Istanbul, Sarajevo, and Bratislava

Daniel Xerri

This article discusses how poetry allowed a first-time traveler to three different cities to explore each place and his identity as a traveler. Focusing on Istanbul, Sarajevo, and Bratislava, the article describes the experience of using a poem the traveler finds in each city to serve as a guide to its spirit. By referring to issues related to anthropology, post-colonialism, politics, history, the social sciences, and cultural studies, this article discusses the transformation experienced by the traveler as a result of both a physical and inner journey.

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Have You Ever Been in Bosnia?

British Military Travelers in the Balkans since 1992

Catherine Baker

Tens of thousands of British military personnel traveled in former Yugoslavia as peacekeepers between 1992 and 2007. The settlements where British forces established their military presence and supply chain were conceptually far from former Yugoslavia's tourist sites, but military travelers made sense of them by drawing on the commonplaces of previous travel accounts and the lessons of pre-deployment training. British military travelers constructed themselves as often frustrated helpers in Bosnia who struggled with political limitations on their activities but found satisfaction in improving socio-economic relations at the level of the immediate community. For troops, long otiose periods in a stabilizing and startlingly cheap country engendered a touristic sensibility. This article draws on published memoirs and more than fifty new oral history interviews with British peacekeepers and their Bosnian employees to illustrate how British military travelers drew on, perpetuated, and changed the patterns and representation of British travel to the Balkans.

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Describing the Other, Struggling with the Self

Hungarian Travel Writers in Mexico and the Revision of Western Images

Balazs Venkovits

This article provides an overview of nineteenth-century Hungarian travel accounts on Mexico and examines their relationship with Western European and United States travelogues. How did Hungarian travelers relate to images projected by Western accounts? How did their Hungarian/Central European background influence and alter such images? This article shows that the first Hungarian travel writers not only built on but also identified with concepts promoted by "imperial" travelers, calling attention to the power of Western texts in the representation of Mexico. A new wave of travelers at the end of the century tried to break away from the previous discourse and began to call for alternative approaches to Mexico. Based on texts so far unstudied in this context and mostly available in Hungarian only, the analysis offers new insights into the mechanics of travel writing and describes a struggle for a more just depiction of Mexico, a process also influenced by Hungarian self-perception.

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Joana Carolina Schossler

The article analyzes how Brazilian scholars have interpreted the relationship between transport and tourism in Brazil. It addresses the subject through the historical evolution of modes of transport, noting the gaps in literature and suggesting new approaches for future studies, such as traveler experiences, a holistic view of the nation's transport system, and greater disciplinary exchange.

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Gendering Balkanisms

Gender, Culture, and Class in Nineteenth-Century Women's Travelogues in the Balkans

Marina Matešić

This article links nineteenth-century travelogues about the Balkans written by European women travelers—Dora d'Istria, Maria Karlova, Emily Strangford, and Paulina Irby and Georgina Mackenzie—both to a broader historical discourse called Balkanism and to the socio-historical contexts of the authors themselves. It examines the ways in which these texts adopted existing hegemonic dichotomies of Balkanism concerning culture, ethnicity/religion, and gender and whether they set new paths for Balkanist discourse. Written during the time of anti-Ottoman uprisings and nation-building movements, the travelogues expressed diverse humanitarian, Christian, feminist, anti-imperial/Turkish and other agendas and discussed the crucial role of (Balkan) women in it. Through a particular focus on domestic life and the lives of women, these women travelers also spoke of their own position in society, bringing to light their struggle for equality in traveling, writing, and participating in broader political and social life, and in that way disturbed the male-centered Balkanist discourse.