Travelling—Writing—Tasmania, February 6–7, 2014

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University of Tasmania
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A two-day symposium to explore Tasmanian travel writing and journeys in Tasmanian literature.

So often figured as one of the ends of the world, Tasmania has inspired diverse responses from travellers—real as well as fictional—who have landed on its shores and explored its terrains over the last two and half centuries. A frequent subject of European explorer and settler narratives of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and a popular setting for colonial romances, Tasmania retains a special place in the literary imaginary as much as in the itinerary of domestic and international travellers. An island, Tasmania is both of and set apart from Australia. More often than not little known by mainlanders, its fate has often between dictated by forces beyond the national borders. Distance and isolation, and a rich and at times violent history, have inspired travellers and writers to frame their reactions to Tasmania through the lenses of the marvelous, the grotesque, the sublime, and the picaresque. Shadowing these representations of the island there is more often than not a deep ambivalence about the moral foundations of the European society on the island. Reading Tasmanian travel writing and the fictional journeys of Tasmanian literature provides insights into a set of regional, national and transnational concerns about colonialism and the challenges of a postcolonizing culture.

This symposium explores Tasmanian travel writing and the journeys of Tasmanian literature. It brings together scholars in travel writing studies, colonial and postcolonial literary and historical studies, as well as writers of fiction and travel, to consider the rich heritage of Tasmanian journeys.

Call for Papers

Submissions are invited for papers that examine travel writing about Tasmania and other journeys in Tasmanian literature.

Possible topics may include:
• Tasmanian journeys in fiction, non-fiction, film and poetry.
• Exploration, early settler and convict narratives
• Encounters with Indigenous Tasmanian identities and histories
• Indigenous travellers in Tasmania
• Dark tourism and travel
• Encounters with 'wilderness'
• Fictional, cinematic and poetic journeys through Tasmania
• Constructions of 'Britishness' in Tasmanian travel writing
• Representations of 'home' and 'Australian-ness'
• Destinational authenticity
• Travel journalism

Please send a 300 word abstract, including a brief biographical note, to the Centre for Colonialism and its Aftermath ( by 1 October 2013.

For regular updates on the program visit the symposium website at;

This symposium is supported by:
the Association for the Study of Australian Literature (ASAL),
the Centre for Colonialism and its Aftermath (CAIA, UTAS),
the School of Humanities and Faculty of Arts (UTAS),
and the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston.