Borders and Crossings: an interdisciplinary conference on travel writing

deadline for submissions: 
January 8, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
University of Lodz

The Borders and Crossings international conference series is dedicated to the study of travel writing. It was first hosted in Derry in 1998 thanks to the work of Glenn Hooper and Tim Youngs and since 2012 has taken place on a regular basis. The Borders and Crossings conference series has played a catalytic role in the development of travel writing studies as it provides a forum for scholars across a range of disciplines and from wide variety of national contexts to meet regularly, to explore an increasingly rich corpus of travel writing, and to debate its importance to the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences.

The 2023 edition of Borders and Crossings takes place in the unique context of Łódź: a post-industrial city situated in the wider European political and economic context, and which epitomises ‘borders and crossings’ in several ways. First, Łódź was called ‘the city of four cultures’ and until WWII was inhabited by people of Polish, Jewish, German, and Russian origin, as well as minorities, with their respective languages, religions, processes of assimilation or cultural isolation, and inward and outward migrations. A postscript to this history is the contemporary influx of Ukrainian workers and refugees. Second, the city’s industrial history and built environment is founded on forms of travel: migration for industrial employment; the movement of ideas, technologies, and capital within trans- European and trans-Atlantic industrial networks; and movements for social change. Third, the city’s dynamic expansion in the 19th century converged with its occupation by foreign powers, engaging discussion on imperialism, shifting borders, political change, and identity. The co-organiser of the conference, University of Glasgow, is located in another post-industrial city, sharing some of these characteristics.

With this in mind, we invite proposals related to the contexts mentioned above, but also, as is customary at Borders and Crossings, contributions concerning other theoretical and practical aspects of travel writing. Proposals can reflect on, but are by no means limited to, the following themes:

  •  Travel writing and the industrial city

  •  Representations of travel to/from/around Poland

  • Scottish travellers in Poland and Polish travellers in Scotland

  • Central Europe or Eastern Europe? Scotland or Britain? Geographical and cultural

    identities in travel writing

  • East-West interactions

  • Imperialism and travel; indigenous voices ‘writing back’ and decolonisation

  • Travel writing and the self/other

  • Travel and conflict

  • Representations of space and place in travel writing

  • Travel and translation

  • Travel and class/gender/sexuality

  • Travel writing and eco-criticism/nature writing

  • Theories of travel and travel writing

  • The history of travel and/versus tourism

  • The craft and practice of travel writing

  • Travel journalism, guidebooks, digital media, social media

  • Travel writing and other media (film, photography, illustrations, etc.)

  • Non-places and spaces of transit

  • Travel rest and stopovers

  • Modes of transport and points of view

  • Travel and pandemics/disease

This event is open to academics, postgraduate researchers, and practitioners (inside and outside of academia) interested in travel writing from a broad range of perspectives. The aim of this conference is to showcase the interdisciplinarity of travel writing studies and the event welcomes proposals from but not restricted to literary studies, mobility and tourism studies, history, geography, creative writing, environmental studies, translation theory and practice, among others. Proposals are not restricted to any period of time or geographical context. Further information on the Borders and Crossings conference series can be found at

Although we wish for all participants to be able to attend the conference in Łódź, we plan for a hybrid conference so that participants unable to travel can still present their paper.

We invite proposals for 20-minute papers, creative pieces, and 60-minute panels of three speakers. Proposals of approximately 250 words (up to 500 words for a panel), accompanied by a short biographical note, should be sent to:

Deadline for proposals: 8 Jan 2023 Notification of acceptance: 31 Jan 2023

Organising committee: Dr Joanna Kruczkowska (University of Łódź) and Ross Cameron (University of Glasgow/University of Strathclyde).