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Keywords for Tourism and Empire


Mary-Louise Pratt uses the term anti-conquest to describe how European travelers and tourists assumed a position of power in colonial spaces without direct military conquest. Scientific advancement in Europe and new systems of classification for the natural world became the basis of a "naturalist's narrative" for travel. Europeans relied on anti-conquest to justify access to colonies in the name of intellectual betterment and to construct a false premise of "European superiority" over colonial peoples. (EN)


Scientific belief in Europe promoted climate and environment as capable of preventing or healing disease. Guidebooks such as Cook's Practical Guide to Algeria and Tunesia suggested that visiting warmer climes as opposed to spending winters in Europe could revive invalids, and that bathing in hot springs could cure respiratory and skin conditions. While statistics and quotes from medical professionals are included in guidebooks to substantiate these theories, climatisme is not considered in the modern day to hold scientific legitimacy. (EN)


The control, usually by conquest, of one group by another distant group. The ruling group believes they have the right and authority to control the other group. (JM)

Contact Zone 

As defined by Mary Louise Pratt, the contact zone is "the space of imperial encounters) the space in which peoples geographically and historically separated come into contact with each other and establish ongoing relations, usually involving conditions of coercion, radical inequality, and intractable conflict." (Pratt, 8). The term encompasses the meeting between colonizer and colonized and the "power dynamics" which emerge through their interactions. In the context of empire, contact zones became spaces in which Europeans assumed control through implicit (cultural) and explicit (political) means. (EN)


A large absolute and political power that rules over territories, usually from conquest, not within its own existing borders. (JM) 


This is often used in an Orientalist and racist way in European discourse. It describes the way of life (including towns, beliefs, and cultures) of non white Europeans and paints their way of life as uncontrollable, barbaric and violent because they are untamable. (JM) 


The traditional name of Turkish Baths, usually hot springs, which were promoted with the belief that they could heal various ailments. 


Healing through bathing in hot springs; this was considered to be scientific in early 20th century Europe, and remains popular in the modern day, although the effectiveness of hydrotherapy has been largely debunked. (EN)


Kabyles are an indigenous Algerian ethnic group, who inhabited Algeria before the Islamic conquest. As an ethnic and cultural minority, they were seen as potential allies by the French against Algeria's Arab government. The colonial government allied with wealthy and influential Kabyles, claiming to protect their native culture and traditions. Yet its racist policies harmed Kabyles as well, and they were continuously treated as inferior to Europeans.  After Independence, Kabyles became especially fierce advocates for their native language and culture, and headed several Berber rights movements across the Maghreb. 3 to 5 million ethnic Kabyles still reside in Algeria, and another 1 billion in France. (EH)

Maleki Rite

Maleki Rite is one of the four schools of Sunni Islamic thought, part of the three that make of Fiqh, or Islamic jurisprudence. Fiqh is considered the fallible, human understanding of divine Islamic law. (JEB)


An architectural niche in the wall of a mosque denoting the direction of Mecca; worshippers face this direction in prayer (Used in "Mosques" in Murray's Handbook for Travelers in Algeria and Tunis). (JEB)


Orientalism has been defined by Edward Said as a “European invention” and an actively created “Western style for dominating, restructuring, and having authority over the Orient.” The Orient existed for Europeans during the 19th and 20th centuries as an academically or ideologically constructed place more than a real one. Orientalism provided a way of differentiating the Orient from the West and was “premised on exteriority” of Europeans from that place. The theory was used to delineate the ways in which people from the Orient were expected to think and behave, as well as to create a power dynamic which continually reinforced the supposed superiority of Europe over the East.  (EN)


Settlers - people who "settle" into a new area to which they are not local - have often been portrayed as "discovering" new territories, or bringing civilization with them (such as in American narratives of the Western frontier.) Consequently, these accounts tend to ignore or undermine the presence of indigenous populations.  In the case of Algeria, the French government appealed to populations across Europe (mainly Spain and Malta) who were looking for economic opportunities. While the diverse European populations enjoyed more rights than the local Muslim population, hierarchies remained which coded [White] French people as superior, and Southern European workers as "lower class." (EN)


A person who travels away from their home to find pleasure or an escape from everyday, modern life. (JM)


While travel and tourism are often used interchangeably, travel can be understood as encompassing a wider sphere of experiences. Movement for trade, with the intent of conducting scientific research, or for military purposes is distinct from tourism for leisure; nonetheless, these forms of travel may lead people to engage with different environments and cultures through tourism. (EN)  


Suggests a quality of greatness. In travel writing, the sublime is focused on the natural elements that inspire both awe and fear. Often times, there was a desire to conquer and alter the sublime as a demonstration of human prowess. (HC)


A style of writing that travel narratives adopted that focused on the subjective experiences of the individual These experiences were oftentimes glorified and exaggerated to provide better reading material. A deviation from past travel writings which focused solely on the objective aspects of observation. (HC)