Unexpected Encounters in American Travel Writing at Am Lit Assn, May 23-26 2013; deadline Jan 13, 2013

full name / name of organization: 
Society for American Travel Writing

The adventure of travel and travel writing is frequently realized in the unexpected encounters that occur during the journey. Indeed travel is often depicted as the opportunity to encounter new and different people. In such encounters, travellers engage with individuals who represent perspectives and cultures otherwise unknown. Just as travellers impose themselves on new environments, the people encountered introduce alternative lifeways and worldviews to them, perhaps altering their outlook and the course of their very lives. As often as not, an unexpected encounter also reveals the predispositions and ideological assumptions of travellers. The SATW invites proposals for papers that examine unexpected encounters in American travel writing. Possible questions include: How do unexpected encounters facilitate, detour, or inform travel? In what capacity may an encounter reveal the politics of travel and geography? How do encounters reveal gender, racial, class, and/or other divides? How do encounters precipitate cultural clashes and/or reconciliations? How do encounters change travellers' sense of a place? How do encounters define, shape, or transform identity? What are the possible motivations for, and/or ironies of, marketing travel that will produce an 'unexpected' encounter?

The Society for American Travel Writing will host two panels at the 2013 American Literature Association annual conference. Scholars of American travel writing and practicing travel writers are particularly encouraged to submit proposals.

Please send 300 word proposals by January 13, 2012 to Andrew Vogel at vogel@kutztown.edu or Melanie Scriptunas at mscript@udel.edu. For further information, please consult the ALA website at www.americanliterature.org.