The powers that be. Pilgrims and the representation of power

Date: 8 June 2017

Venue: Annexe - Stadscampus

Time: 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM

Short description: Lunch Seminar Centre for Urban History

In this Lunch Seminar we discuss Chapter 8 ("The powers that be. Pilgrims and the representation of power") of the future monograph of Peter Stabel:

Travelling East. Pilgrims from the Low Countries and their experiences

  1. Travelling pilgrims between originality and trope
  2. Dragomans, ship’s captains and friars. The infrastructure of pilgrim travel
  3. A tourist’s gaze, a pilgrim’s gaze
  4. The lure of the city: travelers of urbanity
  5. Tasting the unfamiliar. Food and foodways
  6. The other half. Women and gender on the road
  7. Othering Muslims, observing differences?
  8. The powers that be. Pilgrims and the representation of power
  9. The Humanist perspective: travelling into a new era?


  • Empirical base: about 30 travelogues from the Low Countries in the period 1400-1550
  • Goals: achieve not only an analysis of travelers in this period and the way they report about their travels, but also link their perception and comments to their social/cultural background (the sources consist of travelogues written by high and local noblemen, politicians, clergymen (secular and monastic), merchants and craftsmen)
  • Each chapter starts with the analysis of one telling travel narrative. The topic is explored after this introduction with other travelogues