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Tasmania from below: Antarctic travellers' accounts of a southern "gateway"

Leane, E ORCID: 0000-0002-7954-6529 2016 , 'Tasmania from below: Antarctic travellers' accounts of a southern "gateway"' , Studies in Travel Writing, vol. 20, no. 1 , pp. 34-48 , doi:

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Tasmania is often represented in travel accounts as a remote place at the edge of the world. For Antarctic travellers, however, Tasmania is not only an end but also a means: a way-station rather than a destination, a point from which to commence the last leg of an expedition or a haven to return to at its conclusion, and sometimes a place to recuperate between multiple visits. This article examines representations of Tasmania – and particularly its capital city and main port, Hobart – produced by explorers and other travellers on their way to (or from) more southerly destinations. Antarctic travel texts compare and contrast Tasmania to higher latitudes, contextualising it not just as a far southern margin of the familiar world, but also as a northern limit of a lesser-known region of the globe. Both Antarctic travellers’ journeys and their narratives produce a connectedness between Tasmania and other circumpolar places, which in turn embeds the island within a new geographical imaginary: a southern rim surrounding a polar centre. These travel narratives reinforce the image of Hobart as a “gateway” but also put pressure on this term, suggesting a relationship with the far south that includes but goes beyond that of an exit or entry point.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Leane, E
Keywords: polar gateway, exploration, travel, Tasmania, Hobart, Antarctica
Journal or Publication Title: Studies in Travel Writing
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 1364-5145
DOI / ID Number:
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