The Global Politics of Contemporary Travel Writing

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Overview

To what extent do best-selling travel books, such as those by Paul Theroux, Bill Bryson, Bruce Chatwin and Michael Palin, tell us as much about world politics as newspaper articles, policy documents and press releases? Debbie Lisle argues that the formulations of genre, identity, geopolitics and history at work in contemporary travel writing are increasingly at odds with a cosmopolitan and multicultural world in which 'everybody travels'. Despite the forces of globalization, common stereotypes about 'foreignness' continue to shape the experience of modern travel. The Global Politics of Contemporary Travel Writing, first published in 2006, is concerned with the way contemporary travelogues engage with, and try to resolve, familiar struggles about global politics such as the protection of human rights, the promotion of democracy, the management of equality within multiculturalism and the reduction of inequality. This is a thoroughly interdisciplinary book that draws from international relations, literary theory, political theory, geography, anthropology and history.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The Global Politics of Contemporary Travel Writing is an important extension of critical international relations via an encounter with cultural studies. Its rigorous demonstration of the way popular culture makes international power possible, through an incisive analysis of how contemporary travel writing reproduces colonial relations, is an intellectual journey with the possibility of new political visions at the end of the line."
David Campbell, Professor of Cultural and Political Geography, Durham University

"A wonderful interdisciplinary investigation that lets us understand the place and significance of some of the most popular 'Western' travel writers at the same time that it lets us see our unequal world in a new way."
Craig N. Murphy, M. Margaret Ball Professor of International Relations, Department of Political Science, Wellesley College

"An invitation to re-imagine the relationship between global politics, travel, and travel writing. The Global Politics of Contemporary Travel Writing is a journey well worth taking for scholars and students of International Relations, as well as for travel and travel writing aficionatos."
Cynthia Weber, Professor, Department of Politics and International Relations, Lancaster University

"At a time when it is so difficult yet so important to engage very carefully with the uneasy relation between cosmopolitan aspirations and hegemonies and colonialisms of various kinds, Debbie Lisle offers an engaging, provocative and often very acute account of how travel writings engage in border-crossings that are so much more than international."
R.B.J. Walker, Keele University, UK and University of Victoria, Canada.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781107405837
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 7/26/2012
  • Pages: 314
  • Product dimensions: 8.90 (w) x 5.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Debbie Lisle is Lecturer in Politics and Director of Cultural and Media Studies in the School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy at the Queens University of Belfast. She received the BISA Best Thesis Prize for her PhD in International Relations at Keele University.

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction: the global imaginary of contemporary travel writing; 2. Between fact and fiction: the generic limits of travel writing; 3. The cosmopolitan gaze: re-articulations of modern subjectivity; 4. Civilizing territory: geographies of safety and danger; 5. Looking back: utopia, nostalgia and the myth of historical progress; 6. Conclusion: engaging the political: contemporary travel writing and the ethics of difference.

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