Week 8: Travel IV

  1. Place Room 7
  2. Featherstone, Mike. "The Flaneur, the City and Virtual Public Life," Urban Studies 35:5-6 (1998): 909-925.
  3. Dubow, Jessica, “The Mobility of Thought: Reflections on Blanchot and Benjamin,” Interventions 6:2 (2004): 216-228.

Flaneur, Walker/Wanderer, Adventurer, Reader


The Flaneur, inspired by Charles Baudelaire


Der Flaneur: The Walter Benjamin Trilogy I

flaneur from vitrina on Vimeo.


La Flaneur from Liz Perlman on Vimeo.

flâneur from Pawel Jaskulski on Vimeo.


Jews and Exile, Diaspora, Movement, Travel

Jewish Museum, Berlin - Hallways & Garden of Exile

Berlin Holocaust Memorial - walk-through

Berlin Holocaust Memorial - balloon view




Caspar David Friedrich, Wanderer Above the Mists

Caspar David Friedrich, Wanderer Above the Mists (1818)


Wandering has long been used as a trope for the human condition. Wandering may be the inability to find home, or being prevented from reaching home (e.g., Homer's Odysseus). It may be the attempt to find oneself, or run from oneself, or collect experiences in order to construct a self out of them. Or, it may just be the natural condition of humans. Existential writers often used travel as a condition of being human, sometimes signifying our lostness in the world, and sometimes signifying our innate sense of striving for something else, something other than what we are or have. Romantic writers have used travel as an encounter with the exotic, as an indication of our ultimate futility, or as a metaphor for human existence.

Gericault, Raft of the Medusa

Theodor Gericault, Raft of the Medusa, 1818


Caspar David Friedrich, Stages on Life's Way

Caspar David Friedrich, Stages on Life's Way (1835)