Enfilade

Call for Papers: Travel Writing

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on March 15, 2010

History in Travel Narrative, 1589-1826
Paris, Sorbonne nouvelle, 11-12 December 2010

Proposals due by 15 June 2010

Joint conference organised by PRISMES (CREA XVIII, Epistémè), Sorbonne nouvelle, and CIERL, Québec

This conference will examine the representation of history in travel narrative. A European’s perception of countries and peoples with no ‘history’ is not the same as that of ‘civilised’ nations. What model of historical change do travel narratives project—history as a decline from some mythical or mythicised origin, cyclical history, history as the unfolding of a providential design, as progress? The evolution of those categories over the period considered will be investigated; this period stretches from 1589, which saw the publication of Richard Hakluyt’s Principal Navigations, to 1826, when William Ellis’s Narrative of a Tour through Hawaii came out.

What is the influence of historiography at any given time on the representation of history as experience in travel literature? How does travel narrative validate its status as historiography? From a more anthropological viewpoint, does the discovery of new or different spaces or places shape the perception and construction of time? Is there any interaction between the conception of space and that of time, between the depiction of spaces and that of time, especially of the time needed for the evolution of manners, customs and institutions which differ from those familiar to the traveller? Does this entail a relativisation of time? How does a European (or Europeanised) nation’s past constrain the analysis of the fabric and customs of the areas visited? Is the historicisation of lived experience limited? What is the impact of measuring instruments on this experience and the account thereof. Those are some of the questions which will be addressed in this conference. Voyages from and to Great Britain will be of particular, but not exclusive, interest.

Please send proposals—200-250 words—for papers not exceeding 30 minutes before 15 June 2010 to Isabelle Bour (Isabelle.Bour@univ-paris3.fr), Line Cottegnies (Line.Cottegnies@univ-paris3.fr) and Thierry Belleguic (Thierry.Belleguic@lit.ulaval.ca).

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