Dr. Lisa Colletta, Professor of English and Dean of Academic Affairs, has just published The Legacy of the Grand Tour: New Essays in Travel, Literature, and Culture. The book examines the ways in which the legacy of the Grand Tour is still evident in works of travel and literature. From its aristocratic origins and the permutations of sentimental and romantic travel to the age of tourism and globalization.
Though the topos of the journey is one of the oldest in literature, it still remains compelling, even in this age of packaged tours and mediated experience. Professor Colletta shows how the Grand Tour still influences the destinations tourists choose and shapes the ideas of culture and sophistication that surround the act of travel. The sites of the Grand Tour remain a powerful cultural draw, and they continue to define ideas of taste and learning for those who visit them.
Professor Colletta has been invited to speak on the topic to the Society of Comparative Literature at Harvard University this spring.