ASECS 2013 CFP: "Remapping 'Scientific' Travels"

full name / name of organization: 
American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, April 4-7 2013

Scholars have made much of the Royal Society's reform of travel writing that occurred in the late seventeenth century. And indeed, the new philosophy had a far-reaching impact on the travel genre. But not all contemporary readers and writers were impressed by such developments. From Ned Ward's A Trip to Jamaica (1698) to Jonathan Swift's famous critique of travel writing in Travels into Several Remote Nations (1726), and from William King's Useful Transactions (1709) to Daniel Defoe's facetiously titled A New Voyage Round the World (1724), many writers criticized the new style of travel writing. Moreover, many lesser-known travelers wrote idiosyncratic accounts that disregard or overtly undermine the principles of the Royal Society. Do these travelers tell a different story of travel writing than their more famous counterparts narrate? What do the various satires and parodies of the genre tell us about the form and function of travel writing? Is there a counter-history (or histories) that emerge when reading these accounts? This panel will attend to what both satiric and relatively unknown travel texts of the eighteenth century tell us about period's epistemological, social, and political changes. Papers that consider any aspect of satiric or lesser-known travelogues of the eighteenth century are warmly invited.

Please send proposals of no more than 300 words to danielle.spratt at and annethell at by 15 September 2012.