As many places around the world confront issues of globalization, migration and postcoloniality, travel writing has become a serious genre of study, reflecting some of the greatest concerns of our time. Encompassing forms as diverse as field journals, investigative reports, guidebooks, memoirs, comic sketches and lyrical reveries; travel writing is now a crucial focus for discussion across many subjects within the humanities and social sciences.

An ideal starting point for beginners, but also offering new perspectives for those familiar with the field, The Routledge Companion to Travel Writing examines:

  • Key debates within the field, including postcolonial studies, gender, sexuality and visual culture
  • Historical and cultural contexts, tracing the evolution of travel writing across time and over cultures
  • Different styles, modes and themes of travel writing, from pilgrimage to tourism
  • Imagined geographies, and the relationship between travel writing and the social, ideological and occasionally fictional constructs through which we view the different regions of the world.

Covering all of the major topics and debates, this is an essential overview of the field, which will also encourage new and exciting directions for study.

Contributors: Simon Bainbridge, Anthony Bale, Shobhana Bhattacharji, Dúnlaith Bird, Elizabeth A. Bohls, Wendy Bracewell, Kylie Cardell, Daniel Carey, Janice Cavell, Simon Cooke, Matthew Day, Kate Douglas, Justin D. Edwards, David Farley, Charles Forsdick, Corinne Fowler, Laura E. Franey, Rune Graulund, Justine Greenwood, James M. Hargett, Jennifer Hayward, Eva Johanna Holmberg, Graham Huggan, William Hutton, Robin Jarvis, Tabish Khair, Zoë Kinsley, Barbara Korte, Julia Kuehn, Scott Laderman, Claire Lindsay, Churnjeet Mahn, Nabil Matar, Steve Mentz, Laura Nenzi, Aedín Ní Loingsigh, Manfred Pfister, Susan L. Roberson, Paul Smethurst, Carl Thompson, C.W. Thompson, Margaret Topping, Richard White, Gregory Woods.

Part 1. Key Debates and Critical Approaches

1. Truth, Lies and Travel Writing, Daniel Carey

2. Inner Journeys: Travel Writing as Life Writing, Simon Cooke

3. Travel Writing and Postcolonial Studies, Claire Lindsay

4. Travel Writing and Gender, Dúnlaith Bird

5. Travel Writing and Sexuality: Queering the Genre, Churnjeet Mahn

6. Travel Writing and Ethics, Corinne Fowler

7. Travel and the Body: Corporeality, Speed and Technology, Charles Forsdick

8. Travel Writing and Visual Culture, Margaret Topping

9. Travel Writing: Reception and Readership, Robin Jarvis

Part 2. Historical Overviews

10. Travel Writing in the Ancient Mediterranean, William Hutton

11. Chinese Travel Writing, James M. Hargett

12. Indian Travel Writing, Shobhana Bhattacharji

13. Arabic Travel Writing, to 1916, Nabil Matar

14. Medieval European Travel Writing, Anthony Bale

15. Western Travel Writing, 1450-1750, Matthew Day

16. Western Travel Writing, 1750-1950, Barbara Korte

17. African Travel Writing, Aedín Ní Loingsigh

18. Travel Writing Now, 1950-Present, Carl Thompson

Part 3. Styles, Modes, Themes

19. Pilgrims, Laura Nenzi

20. Discoverers and Explorers, Paul Smethurst

21. Travellers and Tourists, Zoë Kinsley

22. Picturesque Travel: The Aesthetics and Politics of Landscape, Elizabeth A. Bohls

23. Guidebooks, Scott Laderman

24. The Romantic Literary Travel Book, C.W. Thompson

25. Modernist Travel Writing, David Farley

26. Postmodernizing Travel Writing, Manfred Pfister

27. Travel Blogs, Kate Douglas and Kylie Cardell

28. Dark Tourism, Justin D. Edwards

29. Gay Travel Writing: An Unstable Category? Gregory Woods

Part 4 Imagined Geographies

30. Ultima Thule / The North, Graham Huggan

31. Europe, Wendy Bracewell

32. North America / USA, Susan L. Roberson

33. Latin America, Jennifer Heyward

34. The Middle East, Eva Johanna  Holmberg

35. India / South Asia, Tabish Khair

36. China, Julia Kuehn

37. Australia, Richard White and Justine Greenwood

38. Sub-Saharan Africa, Laura E. Franey

39. The Polar Regions, Janice Cavell

40. Deserts, Rune Graulund

41. Mountains, Simon Bainbridge

42. The Sea, Steve Mentz