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Performing the role of Anti-Tourist: Jenny Diski’s Memoirs and Transatlantic Travel

Professor Heidi Macpherson, Dean of Humanities at De Montfort University gives her inaugural lecture.

This lecture explores Jenny Diski’s ambivalent response to the politics of travel as well as the influence of American culture in the UK and even on the Antarctic space in her travel memoirs, Skating to Antarctica and Stranger on a Train. It examines how Diski performs the role of the anti-tourist in her travel books, self-consciously aware of herself as the narrator of her own journeys, and as creator of a written version of herself. Finally, it explores how Diski manipulates both the memoir (a search for the truth about a remembered past—however debated the term “truth” has become in the postmodern world) and the travel book (an exploration of place) by withholding and deferring the reader’s knowledge of each aspect of her text. Becoming anti-truthseeker and an anti-tourist, Diski confounds the reader’s expectations but offers up a compelling vision of transatlantic tourism.

Heidi Slettedahl Macpherson received her PhD from the University of Newcastle in 1996 and began her academic career at the University of Central Lancashire (1995-2007). In June 2007 she was appointed Professor and Dean of Humanities at De Montfort University. She has held a number of positions on national bodies, including Secretary and Chair of the British Association for American Studies; Executive Committee member for the Council for College and University English (CCUE), and for the British Association for Canadian Studies. She is the author of Women’s Movement (2000), Courting Failure (2007) and Transatlantic Women’s Literature (2008), and the co-editor of Transatlantic Studies (2000), New Perspectives in Transatlantic Studies (2002) and Britain and the Americas (2005).


Professor Heidi Macpherson | talks


Date and Time:

22 January 2009 at 6:00 pm


1 hour



Professorial Lecture Series
De Montfort University
The Gateway

More at Professorial Lecture Series...




Available from:

To book a place, or for more information email Daniel Jones on djones@dmu.ac.uk or telephone 0116 257 7452.

Additional Information:

Places must be booked in advance as there are limited places. There will be a free drinks reception afterwards for guests to be able to further discuss the event.

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