CFP: [Travel] Politics of Travel and Travel Writing

full name / name of organization: 
Ulrike Brisson
contact email: 

Call for essays for Proposed Collection
Not So Innocent Abroad: The Politics of Travel and Travel Writing
Proposal deadline September 15, 2008
Completed essay deadline January 30, 2009

Essays are sought, which discuss the connection between travel writing and politics. Although
the rise of interest in Europe’s imperial past and its post-colonial legacy has resulted in many
analyses of travel writing’s ideological subtexts, such studies are usually more adept at parsing
cultural and psychological, rather than political, aspects of travel, and they tend to treat travelers
as politically and epistemologically privileged producers of dominant discourses. However, as
Mary Louise Pratt, Sara Mills, and Bernard Schweizer have shown, at the contact zone or in the
bewildering territory of otherness, travelers are as much the products of their new locations as
they are agents projecting their own values unto the environment.
A more flexible, dialectical model of the politics of travel is needed to filter out the complex
ideological and socio-political transactions that attend the act of journeying. At the same time, it
is important to carefully historicize the meaning of politics in connection with travel. The politics
of travel under colonial conditions are very different from the ideologically motivated journeys of
1930s radicals, and both are again distinguished from the political and ideological concerns of
today’s travelers. In other words, the study of travel writing’s political dimension needs to
become more rigorously contextualized, requiring a comparative look at how the political
dimension of travel evolved over time and how it relates to the larger historical and social
imperatives that define the place and moment of travel. By focusing exlusively on these under-
studied aspects of the genre, the proposed essay collection will close a significant gap in the
study of travel writing.

Send 500-word proposals for essays of approximately 6-8.000 words via email [Word or RTF] by
August 15, 2008. Please include a 100-word CV.

Please send to:
Ulrike Brisson:
Bernard Schweizer:

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Received on Mon Jul 21 2008 - 15:04:25 EDT