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19th-century Travel and the 21st-century Scholar


Correspondence: Department of English, University of California, Los Angeles, 149 Humanities Bldg., Box 951530, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1530, USA. Email:


This article examines the emergent use of tourism theory in 19th-century literary studies in books published since the start of the 21st century. Areas in which such interdisciplinary methods have been particularly fruitful include studies of place-oriented individual writers like John Ruskin and Sir Walter Scott as well as in narrowly focused studies of literary tourism. The article argues that tourism theory, as conceived by sociologist Dean MacCannell and later brought to the attention of literary scholars by Jonathan Culler, has been adequately integrated into literary studies about travel and tourism and thus its scholars need no longer apologize for interdisciplinarity nor for discarding the observance of strict boundaries between literary and non-literary genres. Twenty-first-century studies on the ways in which Romantic and Victorian literature helped encourage, validate, and reflect upon travel have now made it impossible to study 19th-century tourism without studying its literature.