Armchair Travels: National Geographic’s “Old and New in Persia”: A History of Travel and Tourism in Iran

with Keelan Overton, PhD

This talk takes as its launching point the September 1939 issues of National Geographic magazine, which features a 20-page article by the Baroness Ravensdale and 13 color photographs by Stephen Nyman. For many Americans, this was their first exposure to seeing Persia and its cultural heritage. What was the goal of this issue? Who were these adventures and photographers, and why did they go to “Persia?” What was travel like at the time? How do the tourist itineraries of the past compare to those today?

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