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The Emotions of Travel

While focusing on and exemplifying travel literature on Indonesia, this dissertation project takes a closer look at both emotionally challenging topics such as civil war and genocide, decolonization, modernization and islamization and typical travel scenarios (e.g. transitional phases, tourism, maladies).

Fermin Suter

The project aims to explore this genre’s affective dimension regarding the implicit and explicit articulation of discrete and dimensional emotions, by developing qualitative and quantitative analytical tools to analyze affective situations and sequences. Although it takes its cue from historical texts that help to reconstruct parameters of a European ‘Batavia’ or ‘Indonesia discourse’ as well as the formation of postcolonial Indonesian identity (Anderson 1991, 1998), this project aims at the analysis of contemporary travel literature: Christoph Ransmayr (Der Weg nach Surabaya), Hans Christoph Buch (Blut im Schuh: Schlächter und Voyeure and den Fronten des Weltbürgerkrieges), V.S. Naipaul (Among the Believers: an Islamic Journey and Beyond Belief: Islamic Excursions Among the Converted Peoples) and Nigel Barley (Not a Hazardous Sport and Island of Demons), and coverage by leading German language print media (SPIEGEL, FAZ, SZ, NZZ) since 1990. Reports from physicians who travelled to Indonesia after the 2004 tsunami, as well as interviews with European students and researchers working in situ might further contribute to this work.

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