The Rumour of Calcutta: Tourism, Charity and the Poverty of Representation

Hutnyk, John. 1996. The Rumour of Calcutta: Tourism, Charity and the Poverty of Representation. London: Zed books. ISBN 9781856494083 [Book]

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Abstract or Description

A study of the politics of representation, this book explores the discursive construction of a ‘city of intensities‘.

The author analyses representations of Calcutta in a wide variety of discourses: in the gossip and travellor-lore of backpackers and volunteer charity workers; in writing - from classic literature to travel guides; in cinema, photography and maps. The book shows how the rumours of westerners contribute to the elaboration of an imaginary city; and in doing so, circulate in ways fundamental to the maintenance of international order.

A provocative and original reading of both Heidegger and Marx, the book also draws upon writers as diverse as Spivak, Trinh, Jameson, Clifford, Virilio, Bataille, Derrida, Deleuze and Guattari. As such it is essential reading for students and scholars in cultural studies, anthropology, development and sociology

Item Type:



city, urban sociology, tourism, representation of powerty

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Centre for Cultural Studies (1998-2017)



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Date Deposited:

10 Nov 2010 15:06

Last Modified:

27 Jan 2015 20:39


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