“This is a Civilized Nation, and a Man From the East Has No Right to Criticize It”

Indian Visitors at the 1893 Columbian Exposition

in Journeys

This article examines the travel narratives of three Indian visitors to the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Occupying a precarious space between spectacle and spectator at the World's Fair, these visitors returned the ethnographic gaze and instead offered cultural self-representation that co-existed with and contested the prevalent perceptions of India (and other non-Western peoples). In the process, their narratives both questioned the civilized/primitive dichotomy as well as disrupted the grand official narrative of Anglo-Saxon supremacy and progress celebrated at the exposition.

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Journeys

The International Journal of Travel and Travel Writing