Daniela Dora, Ph.D Candidate, Dept. of German Language and Literature, Ghent University/University of Luxembourg
Project: “Getting to Know the Other. Contemporary Prose on India in the Context of Modern Tourism Discourse”
My research project deals with a topic that has been largely neglected so far: the interconnections between literary discourse and different concepts of tourism. For a long time, tourism research was considered a socially oriented discipline only and was rarely explored in art and literary studies. In my dissertation, I focus on the most up-to-date form of travelling, modern tourism in the postcolonial world at the beginning of the 21st century.Since India has been a paradigmatic place of the (German) desire for ‘the foreign’ from the 18th century onward but also functions as an example par excellence for the worldwide development of tourism, I chose texts by German-speaking authors focusing on India for this project. I explore authors such as Josef Winkler, Martin Mosebach, Ilija Trojanow, Hans Christoph Buch, and Felicitas Hoppe, who captured India in novels and stories but also journalistic essays and reportages that specifically deal with the experience of tourist travel. When contextualizing these texts within various theories of tourism, I especially focus on the intricate correlations between tourism, post-colonialism and the question of how issues of environmental ethics (e.g. waste problems, air and water pollution) are presented and discussed. Moreover, at the intersections of literary and socio-scientific discourses, my analysis concerns the aspects of ‘foreignness‘ andsocial, cultural, ethnical, gender-specific as well as sexual difference.