1st Edition

Traveling Bodies Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Traveling as an Embodied Practice

    276 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Traveling Bodies: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Traveling as an Embodied Practice explores the central role the body has in and for traveling and thus complements and expands upon existing research in travel studies with new perspectives on and insights in the entanglement of bodies and traveling. The case studies assembled in this volume discuss a variety of traveling practices, experiences, and media with chapters featuring Asian, American, and European historical and contemporary perspectives. Truly interdisciplinary in its approach, the volume identifies and examines diverse literary, historical and cultural texts, contexts, and modes in which traveling and the body intersect, including ‘classic’ travelogues, (new) media (e.g., film, digital travel apps), surf culture, and travel-inspired tattoos. The contributions offer various avenues for further research, not only for scholars working with body theory and travel (writing), but also for anyone interested in the intersections of literature, culture, media, and embodied practices of traveling.

    List of Figures

    List of Contributors



    1. Traveling Bodies: An Introduction
    2. Nicole Maruo-Schröder, Sarah Schäfer-Althaus, and Uta Schaffers

      I: The Body as Concept and Metaphor

    3. The Scientist-Traveler and the Woman-as Land: Sexual Topographies in A New Description of Merryland (1741)
    4. Sarah Schäfer-Althaus

    5. From Facts to Physicality: Body Concepts in German Travel Writing Around 1800
    6. Sonja Klein

    7. Motherhood and the Embodied Traveler in Wollstonecraft’s Letters Written during a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark
    8. Elizabeth Zold

      II: Other Bodies

    9. Beasts on Board: Traveling Animals and Pacific Voyages in the First Two Ages of Exploration
    10. Mira Shah

    11. Mary Wollstonecraft and the Body of her Letters, or: The Traveler Lost and Found in Scandinavia
    12. Michael Meyer

    13. "The most dirtiest children": Spectacles of Otherness on the American Frontier
    14. Nicole Maruo-Schröder

      III: Crossing Borders: The Body and its Liminal Zones

    15. "My condition gets worse day by day": Controlling Traveling Bodies on the Move in Edo-Period Japan
    16. Andreas Niehaus

    17. "The ‘Food Question’ is said to be the most important one for all travelers": Eating in Travel Writing
    18. Uta Schaffers

    19. Going Undercover? Female Bodies and Clothes under Scrutiny in Travel Literature
    20. Sofie Decock

      IV: Mobility, Perception, Experience

    21. Surfing Wanderlust: Surf Tripping Bodies as Cultural Bearers
    22. Anne Barjolin-Smith

    23. Traveling Bodies in Film: Embodied Encounters and Negotiating Selves
    24. Anne von Petersdorff-Campen

    25. Tattooed Cartographies and the Displaced Body in an Age of Political Conflict
    26. Karly Etz

    27. Strolling through the City on a Self-Guided Tour: Embodied Engagement with the Urban Space

    Nora Winsky



    Nicole Maruo-Schröder is Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of Koblenz, Germany. Her research focuses on nineteenth-century American literature, material (food) culture, travel writing, intersectionality, and visual culture. Publications include co-edited collections on Literature and Consumption in Nineteenth-Century America (2014), Space, Place, and Narrative (2016), and Issues in Contemporary Young Adult Dystopian Fiction (2018) as well as a monograph on Spatial Concepts in Contemporary American Literature (2006). A current book project focuses on literature and consumption.

    Sarah Schäfer-Althaus is Lecturer in Anglophone Literature and Culture at the University of Koblenz, Germany. Her research centers on women, gender, sexuality studies, and medical humanities. She is the author of The Gendered Body: Female Sanctity, Gender Hybridity and the Body in Women’s Hagiography (2016) and co-editor of Transient Bodies in Anglophone Literature and Culture (2020) and Medicine and Mobility in Nineteenth-Century British Literature, History, and Culture (2023).

    Uta Schaffers is Professor of German Literature and Didactics at the University of Koblenz, Germany. Her main research areas include travel writing (various articles and the co-edited volume (Off) the Beaten Track? Normierungen und Kanonisierungen des Reisens; 2018) with special focus on Japan (Konstruktionen der Fremde. Erfahren, verschriftlicht und erlesen am Beispiel Japan; 2006) and the Swiss travel writer Annemarie Schwarzenbach (see the editions of Schwarzenbach’s works), traveling bodies, and East-Asia in literature, as well as economics and literature.

    This volume makes an important contribution to the emerging critical literature on travel and the body. Its essays trace historical developments in the ways that travel is experienced as an embodied practice, and offer a thought-provoking range of perspectives and approaches. Traveling Bodies shows how productive interdisciplinary conversations in the field of travel can be, with the study of travel writing enriched by attention to other forms of creative and cultural practice that explore bodies on the move. It is a book that couples broad and wide-ranging discussion of key ideas with detailed and thoughtful analytical work with particular examples and case studies, and will no doubt stimulate new journeys of exploration.

    Zoë Kinsley, Associate Professor in English Literature, Liverpool Hope University, UK

    Up until today, matters of the body have not gained as much attention by international travel studies as they deserve. Therefore, the interdisciplinary essay collection Traveling Bodies can be considered a groundbreaking contribution to the field: It presents a wide range of new insights concerning (European, North American, and Japanese) travel literature and culture from the Age of Enlightenment to the present and offers innovative theoretical perspectives which will prove extremely productive for future work on the subject area. A highly recommended, almost indispensable read for scholars and students in travel studies around the world!

    Stefan Hermes, Senior Lecturer in German Literature, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany