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Footloose in Tasmania: Patsy Adam-Smith and middlebrow travel writing, 1950–1973


Greaves, R, Footloose in Tasmania: Patsy Adam-Smith and middlebrow travel writing, 1950-1973, Studies in Travel Writing, 20, (1) pp. 67-83. ISSN 1364-5145 (2016) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 Taylor & Francis

DOI: doi:10.1080/13645145.2015.1132585


In her loose collection of travel stories, Footloose in Australia (1973), Patsy Adam-Smith writes that Tasmanians bear little relationship to Australians: "Their folk culture is different, their struggles have been different; their pace, outlook, and environment are so different that they are a separate people, as tough and tenacious as the ‘mainlanders’ […] but different" (32). This essay examines Adam-Smith’s Tasmanian travel stories, many of which were printed in the influential magazine Walkabout. It situates Adam-Smith’s stories in relation to the field of middlebrow writing and its wide sphere of influence at the time of Walkabout’s run (1934–1974), drawing from her Walkabout articles, travel books and two volumes of autobiography. An examination of Adam-Smith’s travel writing raises questions of gender and spatiality. While Adam-Smith boldly asserted her presence in marginalised space as a female traveller, her texts demonstrate the unstable discursive position occupied by women in mid-twentieth-century Australia. This essay considers how Adam-Smith’s movement beyond the private (and feminised) space of the home reflects and challenges predominantly masculine performances of space.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:middlebrow, travel writing, gender, place, space, Tasmania, mid-twentieth-century Australia
Research Division:Language, Communication and Culture
Research Group:Literary studies
Research Field:Australian literature (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander literature)
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Communication
Objective Field:Communication across languages and culture
UTAS Author:Greaves, R (Dr Robyn Greaves)
ID Code:108564
Year Published:2016
Deposited By:School of Humanities
Deposited On:2016-04-25
Last Modified:2017-11-24

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