THE GENRES OF AMERICAN TRAVEL WRITING

full name / name of organization: 
Society for American Travel Writing, American Literature Association

The Society for American Travel Writing invites proposals for papers that examine the overlap between Travel Writing and other Genres for the 2011 American Literature Association Conference, May 26-9, 2011 in Boston.

Travel Writing has never been a coherent genre with tidy and easily identifiable formal characteristics. Indeed, depictions of travel exist in all manner of texts. The SATW invites papers that explore the formal differences between various genres of travel writing, such as biography and autobiography, nature writing, epistolary writing, poetry, the novel, and documentary and/or feature film.

Possible questions include: Does the same writer markedly change the way she represents a visited place as she works in different genres? Are there clear formal differences between the various ways travel is represented in different genres? If so what are they? Alternatively, are the differences we perceive between depictions of travel merely paratextual, something readers bring to the text that influences reading. How and why do different genres reflect the truth or the spirit of a visited place differently? How do different genres of travel frame our understanding of the same places in alternative ways?