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Title: Chasing referents : representations of self and other in Wilfred Thesiger's Arabian Sands and Freya Stark's The Southern Gates of Arabia
Author: Cocking, Ben.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3559 6324
Awarding Body: University of Kent at Canterbury
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2003
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Freya Stark's The Southern Gates of Arabia and Wilfred Thesiger's Arabian Sands are commonly read as the last proponents of the Arabist tradition of travel writing. Based on journeys undertaken in the 1930s and 1940s in the Hadramaut and Empty Quarter regions of Arabia, they are accounts of travels which, due to the rapid modernisation of the Arabian Peninsula, were no longer possible even a few years after they were written. With the Arabist genealogy in decline, The Southern Gates of Arabia and Arabian Sands were written at a point of transition. This thesis focuses the relationship between the representational strategies they deploy - both in written text and in their accompanying photographs - and the ideological assumptions of colonialism and imperialism in which they were grounded. In so doing, this thesis draws on the work of Edward Said, Ali Behdad, and, to an extent, Michel Foucault. Their work provides a context in which to question the representational structures and the ideological assumptions on which Stark's and Thesiger's works are based. Consequently, it is possible to see the representational strategies deployed by Stark and Thesiger, and the ways in which these strategies are categorized by gender, as part of an Arabist tradition of travel writing. However, their position at the end of the Arabist tradition also raises the issue of the extent to which their work can be seen as colluding in its demise.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available