Visualizing Travel: Panel at ASECS (Orlando, FL; March 2018)
In recent decades, scholars have become increasingly interested in analyzing and recovering eighteenth-century travel writing, but the visual side of travel texts is often ignored. By the time the word “scrapbook” entered the English lexicon in the 1820s, personal, visual travel records had long existed and circulated in other forms, including the album, the illustrated journal, and the commonplace book. These forms typically contained less of a chronological narrative than written travelogues, but they presented a highly curated, interactive, and, in some cases, tactile experience for their viewers. Many published travel narratives also sought to make the reading experience—and armchair traveling—more authentic and immersive by including illustrations of the places described. This paper session invites participants to consider what happens when we decenter writing and instead contemplate the visual side of travel texts. Do travel albums present a more complicated vision of long eighteenth-century travel than published travelogues? Does including illustrations in a published travel book enrich, contradict, or problematize the author’s narrative in unexpected ways? Papers on obscure scrap albums by unknown women and on engraved illustrations by well-known artists are equally welcome. Please submit a 200-word proposal and a brief bio to Lacy Marschalk, firstname.lastname@example.org, by September 15, 2017.