Cultures of Travel: Tourism, Pilgrimage, Migration - The Fifteenth International Conference of the Taiwan Association of Classical, Medieval and Renaissance Studies (TACMRS)

deadline for submissions: 
January 17, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Taiwan Association of Classical, Medieval and Renaissance Studies - National Taiwan Normal University
contact email: 


The Fifteenth International Conference of the Taiwan Association of Classical, Medieval and Renaissance Studies (TACMRS)22–23 October 2021National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei (Taiwan)Cultures of Travel: Tourism, Pilgrimage, MigrationTraveling has become a natural part of modern life. As a result of the world­wide crisis caused by the COVID-19 epidemic in 2020, however, it is no longer a self-evident right to move from one country to the other or even to travel within national boundaries. The conference intends to offer an opportunity to reflect critically upon the history and nature of human mobility, exploring physical and intellectual traveling as ways of investigating unknown territories, cultural exchange, and spiritual or religious experience.Human migration, whether by choice or involuntarily, is as old as humankind itself. Since time immemorial, epic records of various cultures explored the reasons and effects of migratory movements in history, myth, and religion, from the impacts of the sack of Troy in Greco-Roman literature to the events recorded in the Book of Exodus.Dating back to antiquity, the positively connoted act of cultural traveling reached its first zenith during the Renaissance and Enlightenment. Albrecht Dürer’s traveling across the Alps, motivated by both artistic curiosity and economic interests, signifies the exceptional cross-fertilization of ideas between Northern and Southern Europe. Young members of the British upper class used later to undertake the legendary Grand Tour to the Continent in order to widen their horizon, to acquire manners and language skills. Unlike any other area in Europe, it was Italy that—due to its abundant cultural remains and delightful landscapes—attracted artists and literati. The travelers benefited from the infrastructures of the land and sea routes that were customarily used by merchants for transferring essential trade goods between the countries.When understood in a figurative sense, traveling could also be substituted by a journey of the mind or soul. This phenomenon was a widespread practice from antiquity to pre-modernity and beyond, whether the spiritual journeys of the Jewish and Christian apocalypses, of Dante and Milton, or the travels of the imagination by the likes Cervantes and Ariosto. Pilgrimages too are celebrated, whether in Jacopo da Voragine's the Golden Legend, where he describes in detail such journeys in the mind—mentales diaetae—to the tomb of Saint Peter Martyr in Milan with their healing effect for both the pilgrim’s mind and body or the tales of Chaucer.The conference calls for research from the fields of art history, history, literary history, cultural studies, religious studies, philosophy, classical studies, archaeology, anthropology, geography, social sciences, and beyond. Special attention might be given to the cultural dialogue between East and West. We especially welcome the scholarly exchange between Asian and Western experts. We would also particularly appreciate papers that mark the 700th anniversary of the death of the great Italian poet Dante Alighieri (c. 1265–1321).Areas of interest may include, but are not limited to the following topics:The act of traveling and its representation in the artsThe act of traveling and its representation in literatureCultural travel and tourismThe Grand TourTraveling artistsPilgrimage, physical and spiritual, religious and secularPilgrim pathsTravel narrative: travelogues, diaries, travel memoirs, guide booksIllustrations of travel booksTraveling between reality and imaginationSubstitutes of traveling: Traveling and pilgrimage in the mindTraveling in the armchair and its narrativeTraveling between Asia and the WestTravel record literature from AsiaComparative perspectives on traveling in the East and WestTraveling from and to the Near EastTraveling and pilgrimage in Islamic cultureWomen and travelingTraveling and tradeDiscovery of the world: Exploration of foreign countries, cosmography and chorographyMeasuring the world: Maps and atlasesTraveling and (early) colonialismJourneys on health groundsForced traveling: Flight, persecution, migrationTraveling and epidemicsWe encourage the submission of panel proposals for groups of 3–4 speakers.Please send a title and abstract of your proposed paper (around 300 words) along with a brief CV to by 17 January 2021.There is no registration fee for the conference. Presenters residing in Taiwan should be members of TACMRS. The membership application form can be downloaded from the TACMRS website or can be obtained via email upon request.