1st Edition

The Routledge Companion to Travel Writing

Edited By Carl Thompson Copyright 2016
    506 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    506 Pages
    by Routledge

    As many places around the world confront issues of globalization, migration and postcoloniality, travel writing has become a serious genre of study, reflecting some of the greatest concerns of our time. Encompassing forms as diverse as field journals, investigative reports, guidebooks, memoirs, comic sketches and lyrical reveries, travel writing is now a crucial focus for discussion across many subjects within the humanities and social sciences.

    An ideal starting point for beginners, but also offering new perspectives for those familiar with the field, The Routledge Companion to Travel Writing examines:

    • Key debates within the field, including postcolonial studies, gender, sexuality and visual culture

    • Historical and cultural contexts, tracing the evolution of travel writing across time and over cultures

    • Different styles, modes and themes of travel writing, from pilgrimage to tourism

    • Imagined geographies, and the relationship between travel writing and the social, ideological and occasionally fictional constructs through which we view the different regions of the world.

    Covering all of the major topics and debates, this is an essential overview of the field, which will also encourage new and exciting directions for study.


    Part 1. Key Debates and Critical Approaches

    1. Truth, Lies and Travel Writing, Daniel Carey

    2. Inner Journeys: Travel Writing as Life Writing, Simon Cooke

    3. Travel Writing and Postcolonial Studies, Claire Lindsay

    4. Travel Writing and Gender, Dúnlaith Bird

    5. Travel Writing and Sexuality: Queering the Genre, Churnjeet Mahn

    6. Travel Writing and Ethics, Corinne Fowler

    7. Travel and the Body: Corporeality, Speed and Technology, Charles Forsdick

    8. Travel Writing and Visual Culture, Margaret Topping

    9. Travel Writing: Reception and Readership, Robin Jarvis

    Part 2. Historical Overviews

    10. Travel Writing in the Ancient Mediterranean, William Hutton

    11. Chinese Travel Writing, James M. Hargett

    12. Indian Travel Writing, Shobhana Bhattacharji

    13. Arabic Travel Writing, to 1916, Nabil Matar

    14. European Travel Writing in the Middle Ages, Anthony Bale

    15. Western Travel Writing, 1450-1750, Matthew Day

    16. Western Travel Writing, 1750-1950, Barbara Korte

    17. African Travel Writing, Aedín Ní Loingsigh

    18. Travel Writing Now, 1950 to the Present Day, Carl Thompson

    Part 3. Styles, Modes, Themes

    19. Pilgrims, Laura Nenzi

    20. Discoverers and Explorers, Paul Smethurst

    21. Travellers and Tourists, Zoë Kinsley

    22. Picturesque Travel: The Aesthetics and Politics of Landscape, Elizabeth A. Bohls

    23. Guidebooks, Scott Laderman

    24. The Romantic Literary Travel Book, C.W. Thompson

    25. Modernist Travel Writing, David Farley

    26. Postmodernizing Travel Writing, Manfred Pfister

    27. Travel Blogs, Kate Douglas and Kylie Cardell

    28. Dark Tourism, Justin D. Edwards

    29. Gay Travel Writing: An Unstable Category? Gregory Woods

    Part 4 Imagined Geographies

    30. Ultima Thule / The North, Graham Huggan

    31. Europe, Wendy Bracewell

    32. North America / USA, Susan L. Roberson

    33. Latin America, Jennifer Hayward

    34. The Middle East, Eva Johanna  Holmberg

    35. India / South Asia, Tabish Khair

    36. China, Julia Kuehn

    37. Australia, Richard White and Justine Greenwood

    38. Sub-Saharan Africa, Laura E. Franey

    39. The Polar Regions, Janice Cavell

    40. Deserts, Rune Graulund

    41. Mountains, Simon Bainbridge

    42. The Sea, Steve Mentz


    Carl Thompson is a reader in English Literature at the University of Surrey, UK.

    "Readers of this volume will be transported away from a cosy middle-class voyeuristic observation of travel into a serious new world, which offers new perspectives and insights into travel writing. This is a welcome addition to a respected series of volumes, which aim to throw new light on familiar topics. Having approached this volume with the feeling that I was entering familiar territory, I soon realised that the journey had only just begun. With its excellent bibliographies and wealth of references, the way is well signposted."

    - Diana Dixon, Freelance reviewer and Editor Local Studies Librarian, Oakham, UK