The essay investigates the interaction between two European voyageues – Carla Serena and Mme Chantre – with the women they met in the Caucasus. I will show, through a text-based analysis of their travelogues, how the European travellers view women under colonial rule. In particular, I will demonstrate the contrast on how the European orientalist gaze is softened when displayed by women with scientific interests. In fact, the travelogues of Mme Serena and Mme Chantre show that, even when viewed by feminist eyes, local women are objects of discourse and never subjects of it; they are observed, they are touched, they do not talk.
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