Travel Writing in an Age of Global Quarantine (Anthem Studies in Travel) (Paperback)

Travel Writing in an Age of Global Quarantine (Anthem Studies in Travel) By Gary Fisher (Editor), David Robinson (Editor), M. Randal Owain (Foreword by) Cover Image
By Gary Fisher (Editor), David Robinson (Editor), M. Randal Owain (Foreword by)
Usually Ships in 1-5 Days


Travel Writing in an Age of Global Quarantine is an anthology of travel accounts, by a diverse range of writers and academics. Challenging conventional academic 'authority', each contributor writes, from memory during the Covid-19 lockdown, about a place they have previously visited, 'accompanied' by an historical traveller who published an account of the same place. As immobility is forced upon us, at least for the immediate future, we have the chance to reflect. Travel Writing in an Age of Global Quarantine presents opportunities to approach a text as a scholar differently. We break with the traditional academic 'rules' by inserting ourselves into the narrative and foregrounding the personal, subjective elements of literary scholarship. Each contributor critiques an historical description of a place about which, simultaneously, they write a personal account.

The travel writer, Philip Marsden, posits a fundamental difference between traditional 'academic' writing and travel writing in that travel narratives do not, or ought not anyway, begin by assuming a scholarly authoritative understanding of the places they describe. Instead, they attempt to say what they found and how they felt about it. The very good point we think Marsden makes, and the one this book tries to demonstrate, is that, as a matter of form, the first-person narrative has the ability to expose the research process: to allow the reader to see when and how a scholarly transformation takes place; to give the scholar the opportunity to openly foreground their own subjectivity and say 'this is the personal journey that led me to my conclusions'; to problematize the unchallenged authority of the scholar.

Travel Writing in an Age of Global Quarantine challenges the idea of scholarly authority by embracing the subjective nature of research and the first-person element. We address a problematic distance between travel writing practice and travel writing scholarship, in which the latter talks about the former without ever really talking to it. Defining travel writing as a genre has often proved more difficult than it might seem, but Peter Hulme has suggested that it is ethically necessary for the writer to have visited the place described. Hulme asserts that 'travel writing is certainly literature, but it is never fiction'. If this seems obvious, Travel Writing in an Age of Global Quarantine asks the reader to consider the idea that if visiting the place described is necessary for the writer to claim they have produced a travel account, might it also be necessary, or at least advantageous and valuable, for the writer of a scholarly critique of that account to have done the same.

About the Author

After a long career in the business world, David P. Robinson completed his PhD in History in 2020. His research interests have been, predominantly, concerned with how British travel in the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries helped to shape a British liberal-bourgeois identity. Gary F. Fisher is an inter-disciplinary teacher and researcher in the Liberal Arts tradition, with interests ranging from the history of education to twentieth-century literature.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781839985331
ISBN-10: 183998533X
Publisher: Anthem Press
Publication Date: April 5th, 2022
Pages: 202
Language: English
Series: Anthem Studies in Travel