Public Lecture

First Seminar of the Fall Semester to Feature Dr. Anna Fyta on Greek Travel Writing

September 08, 2017
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The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Centre for Hellenic Studies is pleased to present a talk by Dr. Anna Fyta, one of our current SNF Centre for Hellenic Studies Visiting Scholars, entitled " From Pausanias’ Periegesis of Greece and Baedeker’s The Traveller’s Handbook to Greece to Lonely Planet and Trip Advisor: Resurgence and Reception of Literary Travel Writing."

This public talk is presented as part of the SNF Centre for Hellenic Studies Fall Seminar Series, which features exciting, new research in Hellenic Studies from disciplines such as Archaeology, Classics, Literature, and Byzantine, Ottoman, and Modern Greek History.

Date: Sept. 8, 2017
Time: 2:30pm
Campus: SFU Burnaby
Room: Academic Quadrangle 6204

This event is free, but seating is limited, please RSVP to hscomm@sfu.ca

Abstract

Travel writing about Greece has advanced beyond the common misconception phrased by Margaret Alexiou that Greece is a liminal geographical location set between the Classics and the Orient. Travel narratives written after Pausanias’ ten-volume proto-tourist travel guide Description of Greece (2nd century AD) re-visualize Greece and re-invent this hybrid literary genre. Karl Baedeker’s Traveller’s Handbook to Greece (end of 19th century) for instance, with its multiple textual threads combining History, Mythology, Art, Topography, anthropological commentary and parallel readings of Pausanias, serves as one of the key manuals employed by an entire generation of travelers of the first half of the 20th century. Pausanias and Baedeker establish a textual lineage of travel writing which spearheads contemporary travel narratives in the widely known series of the Lonely Planet travel guides and the electronic media, global forum of the so-called interactive tourism, Trip Advisor. Despite their fragmented, sometimes digressive and partial representations of Greece these contemporary, tourism en masse travelogues carry ingrained echoes from Pausanias’ and his successor Baedeker’s works and use them as sources of representation of cultural and artistic inspiration.