Feminism and the Politics of Travel after the Enlightenment

Overview

Taking the Enlightenment and the feminist tradition to which it gave rise as its historical and philosophical coordinates, Feminism and the Politics of Travel After the Enlightenment explores travel as a “technology of gender.”It also investigates the way travel’s utopian dimension and feminism’s utopian ideals have intermittently fed off each other in productive ways.With broad historical and theoretical understanding, Yaël Schlick analyzes the intersections of travel and feminism in writings published during ...

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Feminism and the Politics of Travel after the Enlightenment

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Overview

Taking the Enlightenment and the feminist tradition to which it gave rise as its historical and philosophical coordinates, Feminism and the Politics of Travel After the Enlightenment explores travel as a “technology of gender.”It also investigates the way travel’s utopian dimension and feminism’s utopian ideals have intermittently fed off each other in productive ways.With broad historical and theoretical understanding, Yaël Schlick analyzes the intersections of travel and feminism in writings published during the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, a period of intense feminist vindication during which women’s very presence in the public sphere, their access to education, and their political participation were contentious issues.Schlick examines the gendering of travel and its political implications in Rousseau’s Emile, and in works by Mary Wollstonecraft, Stéphanie-Félicité de Genlis, Frances Burney, Germaine de Staël, Suzanne Voilquin, Flora Tristan, Gustave Flaubert, and George Sand, arguing that travel is instrumental in furthering diverse feminist agendas. The epilogue alerts us to the continuation of the utopian strain of the voyage and its link to feminism in modern and contemporary travelogues by writers like Mary Kingsley, Robyn Davidson and Sara Wheeler.

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Editorial Reviews

CHOICE
Schlick (Queen's Univ., Ontario, Canada) presents an intriguing examination of how notions of gender and perceptions of the value of travel interrelate in writing from the late 18th through the 19th centuries. In a somewhat unexpected move, the author treats selections from traditional, nonfiction travel writing as well as literary fiction with travel as a theme. Readers will find Schlick's exploration theoretically well grounded....Most broadly useful are the introduction ("Travel, Knowledge, Utopia"), chapter 1 ("The Sex of Travel: Sexual Contract and Enlightenment Travel in Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Mary Wollstonecraft"), and the epilogue ("Moving Forward"). These sections of the book provide a solid critical framework for advanced scholars interested in the historical notions of travel as a public, political, tough male activity as opposed to home as a private, domestic, soft female activity....Summing Up: Recommended.
Nineteenth Century Studies
Yaël Schlick offers a carefully researched volume which considers the intersections between fictional and nonfictional travel literature and gender post-Enlightenment. Schlick’s work examines both male and female contributions to the genre of travel writing over time, with special attention paid to the 'educational, political and emancipatory potential of travel' in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. In 'gendering' travel the author attempts, with success, to demonstrate the nuanced experiences of the female traveler, suggesting that the historical realities of travel for women were often far afield from the broader social expectations for their sex. . . .In its depth, Schlick’s text serves as both a survey of post-Enlightenment travel literature and a detailed analysis of gender in that context. Feminism and the Politics of Travel After the Enlightenment is undoubtedly a valuable resource for the specialist in the field, particularly those with prior knowledge of the period texts with which Schlick so masterfully engages.
CHOICE
Schlick (Queen's Univ., Ontario, Canada) presents an intriguing examination of how notions of gender and perceptions of the value of travel interrelate in writing from the late 18th through the 19th centuries. In a somewhat unexpected move, the author treats selections from traditional, nonfiction travel writing as well as literary fiction with travel as a theme. Readers will find Schlick's exploration theoretically well grounded....Most broadly useful are the introduction ("Travel, Knowledge, Utopia"), chapter 1 ("The Sex of Travel: Sexual Contract and Enlightenment Travel in Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Mary Wollstonecraft"), and the epilogue ("Moving Forward"). These sections of the book provide a solid critical framework for advanced scholars interested in the historical notions of travel as a public, political, tough male activity as opposed to home as a private, domestic, soft female activity....Summing Up: Recommended.
Choice
Schlick (Queen's Univ., Ontario, Canada) presents an intriguing examination of how notions of gender and perceptions of the value of travel interrelate in writing from the late 18th through the 19th centuries. In a somewhat unexpected move, the author treats selections from traditional, nonfiction travel writing as well as literary fiction with travel as a theme. Readers will find Schlick's exploration theoretically well grounded....Most broadly useful are the introduction ("Travel, Knowledge, Utopia"), chapter 1 ("The Sex of Travel: Sexual Contract and Enlightenment Travel in Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Mary Wollstonecraft"), and the epilogue ("Moving Forward"). These sections of the book provide a solid critical framework for advanced scholars interested in the historical notions of travel as a public, political, tough male activity as opposed to home as a private, domestic, soft female activity....Summing Up: Recommended.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Yaël Schlick is associate adjunct professor at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario where she teaches courses on travel writing, autobiography, and modern literature. She has published articles on nineteenth-century French and British travel writing and colonial literature, and on 20th century autobiographical narratives. She has recently co-edited a volume of essays on the figure of the coquette with Shelley King. Her translation and critical edition of Victor Segalen’s Essay on Exoticism was published in 2002.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Introduction: Travel, Knowledge, Utopia
Part I: Travel and Domesticity
Chapter 1: The Sex of Travel: Sexual Contract and Enlightenment Travel in Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Mary Wollstonecraft
Chapter 2: Travel and Talent: The Culture of Domesticity in Stéphanie-Félicité de Genlis, Germaine de Staël and Frances Burney
Part II: Travel and New Communities
Chapter 3: Travelling Theories and Political Formation: The Feminist Peregrinations of Flora Tristan
Chapter 4: Travel as Praxis: Suzanne Voilquin and the Saint-Simonian ‘Call to the Woman’ Part III: Travel and History
Chapter 5: Spatial Literacy and the Female Traveller: The Politics of Map-Reading in Gustave Flaubert and George Sand
Epilogue: Moving Forward
Bibliography
About the Author

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