MMLA 2020: Travel Writing/Writing Travel Session

deadline for submissions: 
May 31, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Shannon Derby/Midwest Modern Language Association

Travel is a vehicle for which to explore the condition of living, how our relationships to place shape us and our experiences, how our identities and political histories inform place, how power structures inform how we migrate (or don’t) and how that affects the places we pass through. --Bani Amor, “Getting Real About Decolonizing Travel Culture” (2017)

In this spirit of this year’s theme, “Cultures of Collectivity,” the Travel Writing/Writing Travel permanent session invites essays that interrogate the relationship between culture, community, and narratives of travel. This session seeks to explore the multiple ways in which travel, broadly conceived, has a profound impact on place, society, and the formation of global networks of exchange and communication. Critical and creative submissions will be considered. Papers that explore a broad spectrum of genres, disciplines, time periods, and geographic regions in relation to the conference theme are welcome.

Potential topics and themes may include (but are not limited to):

  • Travel and travel writing as a collaborative act
  • The politics of travel and travel writing
  • Travel and literary genre
  • The impact of tourism on local communities
  • Travel and the promotion of solidarity between communities
  • Contact zones and the relationship between travelers and travelees
  • Histories of travel/Decolonizing travel
  • Transnational and global forms of cultural exchange
  • Travelling locally
  • Constitutions of “self” and “other” in travel writing
  • Travel and constructions of race, class, and/or gender

Please send abstracts of approximately 200-300 words and a brief bio to Shannon Derby at by May 31st.