Borders and Crossings: an interdisciplinary conference on Travel Writing, 9th-11th September 2021

Borders and Crossings: an interdisciplinary conference on Travel Writing, 9th-11th September 2021

 University of Kent, Canterbury, UK

Call for Papers

The ‘Borders and Crossings’ international conference series is dedicated to the study of travel writing. It started in Derry in 1998 thanks to the work of Glenn Hooper (Glasgow Caledonian University) and Tim Youngs (Nottingham Trent). In the last two decades, the Borders and Crossing series has witnessed, and been a catalyst for, the growing importance of the field of travel writing across many disciplines in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences.

In September 2021, the Borders and Crossings conference will take place at the University of Kent (Canterbury, UK). This event is open to postgraduate students, academics, and creative practitioners interested in travel writing from a broad range of perspectives, including literary studies; mobility and tourism studies; digital and media studies and creative writing, among others. Proposals for papers are not restricted to a period in time or a geographical context.

This conference comes at (what we hope will be) the end of a particularly difficult context which affected us all: 2020 brought the world to a halt and was characterised, around the globe, by illness, stillness, quarantine, and restrictions on international travel. The possibilities for (hyper) localised travel and re-engagement with nature have been unexpected side effects of the conditions of ‘lockdown’.

We particularly welcome studies which address these issues: specifically, explorations of the importance of slowness, stalling, (re)discovery of familiar places, or stillness in travel narratives, as well as papers examining the role of illness, quarantine, isolation, and alternative modes of travel in such narratives.

Other themes include, but are not limited to:

  • Digital travels and proxy travels
  • Travel writing and the senses
  • Nature writing
  • Human and animal travels
  • Travel and diseases
  • Travel journalism
  • Travel writing and diversity
  • Travel writing and climate change
  • Travel writing and the planet
  • Theories of travel writing
  • Pilgrimage
  • Travel writing and other media (photography, film, painting, etc.)
  • Travel and travel writing in practice
  • Travel writing and heritage
  • Travels to, from, and around Kent & the Thames estuary

We invite proposals for 20-minutes papers, creative pieces, and 60-minute panels of three speakers.

Proposals of no more than 250 words for a paper (up to 500 words for a panel), accompanied by a short bio-bibliography, should be sent to the organizers Dr Ben Cocking (B.Cocking@kent.ac.uk) and Dr Mathilde Poizat-Amar (M.Poizat-Amar@kent.ac.uk) by the 31th March 2021. Notification of acceptance will be given on the 21st April 2021.