CFP: Literary Tourism and 19th-C. Culture (UK) (3/1/07; 6/8/07)

full name / name of organization: 
Michael Baron
contact email: 




An International One-Day Conference

to be held on

Friday, 8th June 2007

Institute for English Studies, University of London, U.K.




This conference aims to consider in a panoramic and synthetic fashion the
emergence of nineteenth-century interest in literary sites, and the
development of literary genres associated with this interest. Literary
tourism, the visiting of places associated with writers and their writings,
becomes a cultural commonplace over the course of the nineteenth century.
This period saw the invention of 'Wordsworth's Lake District', 'The Land of
Burns', 'Dickens's London' and 'Hardy's Wessex', among other imagined
territories (together with the retrospective reification of 'Shakespeare's
Stratford'), and with them emerged the practice of preserving and displaying
the houses of dead writers. Literary tourism made over the landscapes of
the nation variously as source, ground, glossary, and appendix to the
literary canon, and has continued to do so. Attending to the traces of its
emergence and refinement can provide unusually intimate glimpses of the
history of reading, revealing how nineteenth-century readers imbued real
places with emotional associations derived from imaginative texts. It
allows us to examine the ways in which nineteenth-century literary modes,
perhaps most especially biography and fictional realism, seem to have
produced a new relation between reader and text, soliciting the reader to
locate and visit the locations of the book as a supplementary reading


Confirmed speakers include: Alison Booth (University of Virginia), Simon
Bainbridge (Lancaster University & Wordsworth Centre), Juliet John
(University of Liverpool and Gladstone Centre for Victorian Studies), Pamela
Corpron Parker (Whitworth College), Nicola J Watson (Open University).


We welcome offers of individual papers or paper panels from both new and
established scholars from the disciplines of literature, cultural geography,
cultural history, heritage and tourism studies.

Topics may include (but are not confined to):

changing views on the relations between texts and landscapes; literary
tourism and the idea of nation (both within Britain and beyond); literary
pilgrimage and transatlantic cultural affairs; the literary canon, travel
and the colonial subject; the cult of the writer's grave, the writer's
birthplace, the writer's desk; the text and the souvenir; literary tourism
and its relationships to novelistic realism; the writer as tourist and/or
tourist guide; the invention of 'literary London'; the development of genres
associated with literary tourism, ranging from plaques, memorials, and
monuments, to the periodical essay, to relics, souvenirs and guidebooks, to
literary maps and 'rambles', to personal accounts of 'pilgrimages', and to
the forerunners of the illustrated coffee-table book.


Abstracts of no more than 300 words together with short speaker biographies
and full contact details to be sent electronically by March 1st 2007 to the
organiser at the following address:

Dr Nicola J Watson (


Organised by the Literature Department of the Open University and the
Institute of English Studies, University of London

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Received on Sun Nov 19 2006 - 17:48:55 EST