Travel Writing and Travel Bans

deadline for submissions: 
January 19, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Society for the Study of American Travel Writing, ALA
contact email: 

In June of 2015, United States President Donald J. Trump promised to build a border wall to impede the passage of Latin American individuals into the United States. This pledge propelled his unlikely campaign. On September 24, 2017, President Trump signed a third attempt at an executive order that would institute a temporary travel ban on individuals from Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, and Chad. These are only two recent instances of political bans and obstacles imposed on travel.

The Society for the Study of American Travel Writing invites paper proposals on the theme of travel bans, restrictions, and obstacles for the American Literature Association’s 2018 conference. Questions for consideration may include: What sorts of bans—legal, economic, customary—create structural blockades on travel practices?  How do bans discriminate? How do they curtail the movement of people, and what are the broader implications when people are prevented from traveling? How do bans compel people to change their plans, to go other places, to speed up, or to slow down their movement? How do travel bans block opportunities that can be indexed by all sides of segregated communities? How do bans displace and separate families and erode human bonds across distance? How do bans influence complex, intersectional, and divided senses of identity? In what ways are travelers endangered by bans, particularly when they find themselves in conditions of forced displacement? Other lines of inquiry on this theme as well as papers examining texts from all genre representing travel, including non-fiction, fiction, poetry, film, and web-writing are welcome. This CFP is meant to resonate with the SSATW’s other call for ALA 2018, Travel Writing in Cases of Political Asylum and Refuge.

Submit proposals to Andrew Vogel ( by January 19. 2018 

The American Literature Association’s 12th annual conference will meet at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco on May 24-27, 2018 (Thursday through Sunday of Memorial Day weekend). The deadline for proposals is January 30, 2018. For further information, please consult the ALA website at or contact the conference director, Professor Leslie Petty, at or the Executive Director of the ALA, Professor Alfred Bendixen of Princeton University, at  with specific questions.