Transnationalism and Minority Travel Writing (12/01/2009; ALA 05/27-30/2010)

full name / name of organization: 
Lucas Tromly
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Transnationalism and Minority Travel Writing (12/01/2009; ALA 05/27-30/2010)

Papers are invited for a proposed panel at the 2010 meeting of the American Literature Association in San Francisco (27-30 May, 2010).

Examinations of the politics of travel writing frequently assume that the paradigmatic tourist is white. The figure of the minority traveler or tourist demands that we rethink the structures of power and identity revealed by travel and revisit familiar conventions of travel writing, including the topoi of "home" and "away," the epistemology of the gaze, and the dynamic of "the self discovered in apprehension of the other" (Ashcroft). I seek papers that consider the experience of travel outside of the U.S. for Americans who are members of racial minorities. This panel will focus on extra-national travel in order to examine how the minority traveler's relationship to America is called to light when he or she departs from it, and how the racialized American is received into other national imaginaries. While all relevant proposals are welcome, papers that deal with minority travel that takes the form of "return" to an ancestral or ethnic homeland are particularly encouraged.

Relevant issues may include:

Comparative racisms inside and outside of the U.S.

The construction of the other or the exotic in minority travel writing.

Activist or imperialist implications of minority travel.

"Heritage tourism" and the commodification of the past.

The possibility of transnational coalitions or identifications.

Relationships among minority tourists and other global migrants.

Please send paper proposals of 300 words and a short CV to Professor Lucas Tromly, Department of English, University of Manitoba. Submissions should be sent by e-mail to by 1 December, 2009. Please include contact information and any requests for audio-visual equipment.