In late 1877, John Fryer Thomas Keane set out on a journey few Christian Europeans had attempted—completing the hajj, or pilgrimage, to Mecca. While some Europeans had undertaken this pilgrimage as Muslims, Keane donned the guise of an Indian Muslim instead of converting to Islam outright. From the hajj of Italian Ludovico di Varthema in the early sixteenth century to the nineteenth century travels of Englishmen Sir Richard F. Burton and John Lewis Burkhardt, a select few Westerners embarked upon hajj disguised as Muslims in order to reveal the nature of this restricted Islamic ritual practice. After completion of his hajj, Keane detailed his journey in a two-volume set. Given his youth and general lack of experience, Keane stands out as a unique, and understudied, traveler among England’s nineteenth century disguised hajjis. He represented a new form of non-Muslim hajji, that of the tourist, who performed the pilgrimage, not out of any academic or imperial needs or wants, but for their own personal enlightenment, adventure, or gain. His hajj also demonstrates the growing global interconnectedness of the late nineteenth century. In this thesis, I outline how studying Keane affects our understanding of late nineteenth century Western exploration in Arabia.
|Advisor:||Khoury, Dina R., Blecher, Joel|
|School:||The George Washington University|
|School Location:||United States -- District of Columbia|
|Source:||MAI 56/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Middle Eastern history, World History, History|
|Keywords:||Hajj, Keane, John, Mecca, Medina, Nineteenth century, Travel writing|
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