The central concern of this study is the basic question: what does it mean to travel? In order to understand this query, Hafizi places the discourse on travel within an economical framework and distinguishes between two interdependent forms: a restricted economy of travel and a general economy of travel. The apparent closed structure of departure and arrival in a traditional definition of travel, which Hafizi refers to as a restricted economy of travel, is usually teleological in its movement from an origin towards a destination. More often than not, it is an incarnation of knowledge and light, an unveiling of the secrets of the others. Hafizi challenges this structure by arguing that behind this traditional notion of travel lies a different itinerary, which he refers to as a general economy of travel. This itinerary departs from a non-origin, whose trajectory is not continuous, ordered, or controlled, and whose destination is a being-destined-to-wander. The arrival at a destination is never guaranteed.
In conclusion, Hafizi invites us to look at the phenomenon of travel with a Janus face: to see, in the experience of the foreign, not only that which is gathered but also that which is scattered.
Afshin Hafizi is professor of liberal arts at the Savannah College of Art and Design, where he teaches courses in English, world literature, history of literary criticism, and the cinema of the Middle East and North Africa. He was previously a Marion L. Brittain Post-Doctoral Fellow in technical writing and communication at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta. He has taught at various institutions of higher learning, including the University of Florida, Kennesaw State University, and Strayer University Online.
Chapter 1: Introduction Chapter 2: The Restricted Economy of Travel Chapter 3: Toward A General Economy of Travel Chapter 4: Reda Bensmaia's The Year of Passages: Mourning Becomes Diaspora Chapter 5: Conclusion Bibliography