We are very pleased to announce that Chryssa Marinou, a team member of the REVICTO project, will be presenting a paper at the International Conference “Divergent Temporalities: Capitalism and the Conquest of Space-Time, An Interdisciplinary Approach to Temporal Changes in Global Peripheries (18th-21st centuries)”to be held in Panteion University in Athens on 26-27 May 2022.
You may read her abstract below:
William Makepeace Thackeray on Board:
Notes on a Journey and the Divergent Temporalities of Greece
The paper proposes to explore the divergent temporalities of ancient and modern Greece that converge in Thackeray’s travel book Notes on a Journey from Cornhill to Grand Cairo by Way of Lisbon, Athens, Constantinople, and Jerusalem Performed in the Steamers of the Peninsular and Oriental Company (1846). Thackeray’s account registers his 1844-1845 journey across the Mediterranean which, as the title of the book with its mention of the specific company reveals, is enabled by the “space-time compression” effected by the growth in steam shipping (Harvey 264). In Thackeray’s words, “in the space of a couple of months, as many men and cities were to be seen as Ulysses surveyed and noted in ten years” (xi-xii). Focusing mostly on the book’s Greek chapter, I will argue that apart from the space-time compression which allows for his long journey, Thackeray’s text becomes the locus of the convergence of heterogeneous temporalities in his representation of the modern Greece that he actually encounters and pre-existing notions of Ηellenic antiquity. His western, imperial gaze points to Patrick Brantlinger’s comment that “Thackeray traversed the Near East fully confident that the machinery beginning to transport flocks of tourists was also the machinery of British imperial expansion” (140). Given that steam shipping changed “the sense of time and space in radical ways” (Harvey 264) and expanded the culture of travelling as part of leisure time, I will read Thackeray’s text as bringing together temporality, imperial politics, and tourism.
The research for this article was supported by the Hellenic Foundation for Research and Innovation (H.F.R.I.) under the “First Call for H.F.R.I. Research Projects to support Faculty members and Researchers and the procurement of high-cost research equipment grant.” The project is entitled “Representations of Modern Greece in Victorian Popular Culture.”