Flora Tristan: Rethinking the Intersection of 19th Century French Women’s Travel Writing and History of Anthropology
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Flora Tristan was a 19th century French socialist and feminist writer and activist. During her lifetime, Tristan published two works of travel writing, Pérégrinations d'une paria (Tristan 1838a; 1838b) and Promenades dans Londres (Tristan 1840), which were read and received in a variety of ways by a variety of reading publics. Existing scholarship on these texts, primarily in the field of literary studies, has tended to focus on Tristan’s gender, and on the ways in which this intersects with her writing and activism; by contrast, Tristan – like other women travel writers of her time – has been largely marginalized in broader discussions of travel writing and its history. Furthermore, Tristan and her texts appear to have been entirely absent from histories of anthropology. This thesis examines the relationship between travel writing, ethnography, anthropology, and their respective histories, seeking to reconsider Tristan’s travel writing in relation to these. I argue that Tristan’s travel writing resonates in important ways with ethnography, anthropology, and their interconnected histories, and that taking seriously her works as part of broader discussions on these topics has the potential to contribute additional possibilities, perspectives, and insights that might otherwise be erased, overlooked, or elided.
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Karen Jean McAndless Rueb (2023). Flora Tristan: Rethinking the Intersection of 19th Century French Women’s Travel Writing and History of Anthropology. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/19909