Feminism and the Politics of Travel After the Enlightenment

Yaël Schlick

223 pages
ISBN 1611484281

Now in paperback

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 century 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.


"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...Readers will find Schlick's exploration well grounded."

--P. A. Riggle, Truman State University; CHOICE July 2012

"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."

--Emily Bailey, University of Pittsburgh; Nineteenth-Century Studies Association June 2014

"Yaël Schlick offers a carefully researched volume which considers the intersections between fictional and nonfictional travel literature and gender post-Enlightenment. Schlick opens with a well-crafted introduction that solidly places her work in the field of literary analysis of travel writing along with the likes of Patrick Holland and Graham Huggan, Debbie Lisle, and Mary Louise Pratt.... Feminism and the Politics of Travel After the Enlightenment is undoubtedly a valuable resource..."

--Nineteenth Century Studies

About the author:

Yaël Schlick is Associate Adjunct Professor at Queen's University (Kingston, Canada), where she researches and teaches courses on travel writing, autobiography, feminist theory, and contemporary poetry. She has published articles in Nineteenth Century Studies, European Romantic Review, The Australian Journal of French Studies, and Comparative Literature Studies. Dr. Schlick's translation and critical edition of Victor Segalen's Essay on Exoticism was published in 2002.


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