Politics, Identity, and Mobility in Travel Writing
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This collection examines the intersections between the personal and the political in travel writing, and the dialectic between mobility and stasis, through an analysis of specific cases across geographical and historical boundaries. The authors explore the various ways in which travel texts represent actual political conditions and thus engage in discussions about national, transnational, and global citizenship; how they propose real-world political interventions in the places where the traveler goes; what tone they take toward political or socio-political violence; and how they intersect with political debates. Travel writing can be viewed as political in a purely instrumental sense, but, as this volume also demonstrates, travel writing’s reception and ideological interventions also transform personal and cultural realities. This book thus examines the ways in which politics’ material effects inform and intersect with personal experience in travel texts and engage with travel’s dialectic of mobility and stasis. In spite of globalization and efforts to eradicate the colonial vision in travel writing and in travel writing criticism, this vision persists in various and complex ways. While the travelogue can be a space of discursive and direct oppression, these essays suggest that the travelogue is also a narrative space in which the traveler employs the genre to assert authority over his or her experiences of mobility. This book will be an important contribution for interdisciplinary scholars with interests in travel writing studies, global and transnational studies, women’s studies, multicultural studies, the social sciences, and history.
Table of Contents
Introduction Miguel A. Cabañas, Jeanne Dubino, Veronica Salles-Reese, and Gary Totten Part I: Travel and the Politics of Perception 1. "The Pain of 40 Lashes": Anton Chekhov’s Sakhalin Island and the Emergence of the Russian Prison System David G. Farley 2. Traveling Lies: Bruce Chatwin’s In Patagonia and Adrián Giménez Hutton’s La Patagonia de Chatwin Miguel A. Cabañas 3. "Road to Road": Syncretism and the Politics of Identity in M. G. Vassanji’s A Place Within Shizen Ozawa Part II: Gender and Sexuality 4. Clashing Tastes: European Femininity and Race in Maria Graham’s Journal of a Voyage to Brazil M. Soledad Caballero 5. Exceptional Perspectives: National Identity in US Women’s Travel Accounts of Greece, 1840-1913 Christopher Richter 6. Great Mirrors Shattered: John Whittier Treat and the Politics of Queer Travels through Gay Japan Mark DeStephano Part III: Race, Ethnicity, and Otherness 7. "A Herd of Deer Chased by the Hunters": Travel Writers on the Dilemma of Indian Removal Donald Ross 8. Racial Identity, Travel, and Music in Philippa Duke Schuyler’s Adventures in Black and White Joyce E. Kelley 9. The Dystopia of Border Crossings in Luis Alberto Urrea’s The Devil’s Highway Diana Gumbar Part IV: Empire 10. Traveling to Ithaca Jonathan S. Burgess 11. Representations of the Near East in Travel Writing and Conjectural History during the Late Eighteenth Century Pamela M. Barber 12. "picturesque in its motley processions": The Infrastructure of Empire in Emily Eden’s Up the Country Jeanne Dubino 13. Seeing with a New Lens: Louise Arner Boyd’s Polar Expeditions Michele Willman Part V: Travel, Globalization, and Geopolitic
Miguel A. Cabañas is Associate Professor of Latin American and Chicano/Latino Studies at Michigan State University, USA.
Jeanne Dubino is Professor of English and Global Studies at Appalachian State University, North Carolina, USA.
Veronica Salles-Reese is Associate Professor of Spanish at Georgetown University, USA.
Gary Totten is Professor and Chair of the English Department at North Dakota State University, USA.