Travel, Discovery, Transformation
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This latest volume in the Culture & Civilization series gathers interdisciplinary voices to present a collection of essays on travel and travel narratives. The essays span a range of topics from iconic ancient travel stories to modern tourism. They discuss travel in the ancient world, modern heroic travels, the literary culture of missionary travel, the intersection of fiction and travel narratives, modern literary traditions and visions of Greece, personal identity, and expatriation. Essays also address travel memoirs, the re-imagining of worlds through travel, transformed landscapes and animals in travel narratives, diplomacy, English women travel writers, and pilgrimage and health in the medieval world.< /p>
The history of travel writing takes in multiple pursuits: exploration and conquest, religious pilgrimage and missionary work, educational tourism and diplomacy, scientific and personal discovery, and natural history and oral history. As a literary genre, it has enhanced a wide range of disciplines, including geography, ethnography, anthropology, and linguistics. Moreover, twenty-first-century interests in travel and travel writing have produced a global framework that promises to expand travel’s theoretical reach into the depths of the Internet, thus challenging our conventional concept of what it means to travel.
The fact that travel and travel writing have a prehistory that is embedded in foundational religious texts and ancient narratives of journey, like the Odyssey and the Epic of Gilgamesh, makes both travel and travel writing fundamental and essential expressions of humanity. Travel encourages writing, particularly as epistolary and poetic chronicling. This is clearly a history and tradition that began with human communication and which has kept pace with our collective development.