Issues in Travel Writing: 
Empire, Spectacle, and Displacement

Ed. Kristi Siegel. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 2002, ISBN: 0-8204-4580-0, 303 pages. $32.95.

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The increased attention now devoted to studying travel writing and theory follows on the heels of a growing critical interest in autobiography (a genre closely aligned to travel writing); commentary on multiculturalism, nationalism, colonialism, and post-colonialism; and in spectacle and visual culture. The essays collected here address these diverse impulses and focus provocatively on issues of colonialism/post-colonialism, empire, identity, culture, spectacle, pilgrimage, map theory, narrative theory, diaspora, and displacement, and discuss writers as diverse as Ernest Hemingway, Theodore Roosevelt, Jean Baudrillard, Alexis de Tocqueville, Simone de Beauvoir, V. S. Naipaul, Evelyn Waugh, John McPhee, George Orwell, Graham Greene, Walter Benjamin, Constance Fredericka Gordon Cumming, Willa Cather, Elizabeth Bowen, Kurt Vonnegut, Dorothy Richardson, Jonathan Raban, Paul Theroux, Bruce Chatwin, and Doris Lessing.


From James J. Schramer, Professor, English and Professional Writing, Youngstown State University:

Regardless of the time periods associated with the travel writers they interrogate, the essays in this collection are timely. As Kristi Siegel observes in her thoughtful introduction to this splendid collection, given the world in which we live, and through which we traverse, “the sudden burgeoning of travel writing and travel studies…is logical.” If we are citizens of a global village, we need to understand how our fellow citizens perceive the legacy of colonialism and the reality of post-colonialism. To a great degree, these twin forces have shaped the world in which we live and which we struggle to comprehend. Theorizing about travel literature is not, then, a vicarious vacation from the problems of geopolitics. When conducted on the level found in Siegel’s collection, theorizing about travel literature is very much about the world we inhabit. Siegel and the other authors in this book help us to see the spectacle presented by travel literature and to understand our place within that spectacle as observers and the observed. 

Table of Contents

Introduction: Travel Writing and Travel Theory
Kristi E. Siegel

Part One - Empire: Reassessments of Imperialist Travel Writing

Chapter One
Race and Modernity in Theodore Roosevelt's and Ernest Hemingway's African Travel Writing
Edward Whitley - University of Maryland, College Park

Chapter Two
British Travel Writing and Imperial Authority 
Melanie Hunter - Tulsa Community College (Oklahoma)

Chapter Three
Travel Writing and the Imperial Subject in 1930s Prose: Waugh, Bowen, Smith, and Orwell
Adam Piette University of Glasgow (Scotland)

Chapter Four
Contemporary German Journeys to Italy
Cecilia Novero - Penn State

Chapter Five
Constance Fredericka Gordon Cumming's "Picturesque" Vision: A Christian, Westernized Hawai'i
Andrea Feeser - Clemson University (South Carolina)

Part Two - Spectacle: Mapping Cultural and Spiritual Landscapes

Chapter Six
Travel Writing and Spectacle: The Illusion of Knowledge and Sight
Kristi E. Siegel and Toni B. Wulff - Mount Mary College

Chapter Seven
Baudrillard's Explorations of Tocqueville's America: Wandering in Hyperdemocracy
Marco Diani - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and Institut de Recherches sur le Moderne -France

Chapter Eight
Simone de Beauvoir's America Day by Day: Reel to Real
Gary Totten - Concordia College (Minnesota)

Chapter Nine
St. Lawrence and the Pagans in The Marvels of Rome
Cynthia Ho - University of North Carolina, Asheville

Chapter Ten
John McPhee's Spiritual Journeys: The Authenticating Eye
Theodore C. Humphrey - California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Chapter Eleven
Kurt Vonnegut's Search for Soul
Donna Foran - Mount Mary College and Marquette

Chapter Twelve
Willa Cather's Nebraska Prairie: Remembering the Spirit of Its Land and People
Heidi N. Sjostrom - Mount Mary College (Wisconsin)

Chapter Thirteen
Dorothy Richardson's Pilgrimage as a Journey Down to the Center of Being
Maria Francisca Llantada Diaz - University of Santiago de Compostela - Spain

Part Three - Displacement: Situating Identity, Home, and Diaspora

Chapter Fourteen
In the Ruins of Diaspora: A Southern Italian Perspective
Joseph Pugliese - Macquarie University (Australia)

Chapter Fifteen
(Re)Visiting Der Heim: The Amazing Return to the Place You've Never Been Which Isn't There
Andrew Palmer - Christ Church University College (Canterbury)

Chapter Sixteen
Australian Muslim Experiences of Meccan Pilgrimage or Hajj
Katy Nebhan - University of Sydney (Australia)

Chapter Seventeen
A Million Enigmas Now: V. S. Naipaul's Use of Landscape in the Construction of the "English Self"
Pallavi Rastogi - Utah State University

Chapter Eighteen
Jonathan Raban's Coasting and Literary Strategies in Contemporary British Travel Writing
Jan Borm - Suds d’Amériques and University of Versailles at Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (France)



is Associate Professor and Chair of English (and the Languages, Literature, and Communication Division) at Mount Mary College in Wisconsin; she earned her Ph.D. in modern studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She is the author of Women's Autobiographies, Culture, Feminism (Peter Lang, 2001), and editor of  a collection of essays about women's travel writing, Gender, Genre, Identity in Women's Travel Writing (Peter Lang, 2004). She also serves as general editor for the book series Travel Writing Across the Disciplines (Peter Lang), and has published various articles on postmodern, feminist, cultural, and autobiographical theory.