Transporting Bodies and Minds: 18th- and 19th-Century Travel

full name / name of organization: 
University of Michigan, Eighteenth-Century Studies Group and Nineteenth-Century Forum
contact email: 
rmcadams@umich.edu

Throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, travelers of all kinds documented their experiences in private letters and diaries, official correspondence, life writing, spiritual and religious narratives, and ethnographic accounts. Furthermore, these experiences were often transformed into works of art, with real and imagined moments of contact serving as the inspiration for painting, music, poetry, prose fiction, photography, and other creative ventures. These aesthetic productions transformed the foreign into the national, the known into the unknown, appearing to expand access to other cultures--a model of cultural transportation that recent criticism is troubling.

Scholarship drawing on theories of post-colonialism, gender, material and visual culture, cognitive studies, posthumanism, and other critical paradigms has challenged our understanding of the impact--not just aesthetic, but also commercial, martial, and religious--of travel in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This work has made strides in elucidating a more dynamic picture of the way travel and cultural encounter could transform (or fail to transform) prior understandings of both time and space. Moreover, it has allowed for a more capacious appreciation of how influence happens, extending beyond more uni-directional, Eurocentric approaches.

Continuing this work, the University of Michigan’s Eighteenth-Century Studies Group and Nineteenth-Century Forum will co-host an interdisciplinary graduate student conference on these topics, to take place in Ann Arbor on September 15, 2012. We are pleased to announce that Kate Flint, Provost Professor of English and Art History (University of Southern California), will be our keynote speaker.

Graduate students are encouraged to submit papers that explore the implications of travel, tourism, boundary crossing, exploration, and other related topics--from a wide range of disciplinary perspectives. Submissions of either individual papers or full panels are welcome. Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words to Karen McConnell (mcconnka@umich.edu) by May 1, 2012.

Suggested paper topics include (but are not limited to):

mass tourism
emigration/immigration
travel and commercial enterprise
travel and photography
documenting travel/travel as documentation
Roma, Sinti, and other itinerant communities
time-travel
smuggling
travel and war
imaginative or mental journeys
travel and empire
exploration, conquest, contact
depictions in the visual arts (e.g., the natural world, native/foreign peoples, aesthetic judgment)
travel’s effect on genre
contagion/infection
consequences for epistemology (e.g., scientific, spiritual, ethnographic)

cfp categories: 
african-american
american
cultural_studies_and_historical_approaches
ecocriticism_and_environmental_studies
eighteenth_century
ethnicity_and_national_identity
gender_studies_and_sexuality
general_announcements
graduate_conferences
interdisciplinary
international_conferences
poetry
popular_culture
postcolonial
romantic
science_and_culture
theory
travel_writing
victorian