CfP: Who carries the luggage? Gendered discourses on companionship in travel writing (Publication: edited volume); DL: 01.04.2016

Lien Foubert, Floris Meens, Tom Sintobin; Radboud University, The Netherlands

Proposals by 01.04.2016

We two ladies … have found out and will maintain / that ladies alone get on in travelling much better than / with gentlemen … The only use of a gentleman in / travelling is to look after the luggage, and we take / care to have no luggage. (Emily Lowe, Unprotected Females in Norway: Or, The Pleasantest Way of Travelling There. 1857)

It is generally assumed that early travel reports were predominantly written by men because they moved more freely in the public sphere. For the same reason, so scholars have argued, women did not appear in travel literature as travel companions but rather as objects of desire or as someone to return home to. Since the 1970s in particular, the absence of women in the mobile societies of Europe and beyond has been questioned. After a reappraisal of diaries, letters, scientific reports, etc. of travelling women in the 19th and 20th centuries, it has become clear that women undertook voyages of their own, some in companionship of other women, others in companionship of men. Modern scholarship has acknowledged this more nuanced image of the practice of travel, but the ways in which men and women travellers interacted with each other while en route have not yet been a systematic focus of scholarly attention. The present volume aims to fill that gap. Read more and source … (Web)