“The Travelling Self: Tourism and Life-Writing in Eighteenth-Century Europe”

Title: “The Travelling Self: Tourism and Life-Writing in Eighteenth-Century Europe”

Dates: 18-20 July 2024

Place: University of Oxford

Organising committee: Catriona Seth (Oxford) and Giovanni Iamartino (Milan)

Please submit abstracts in English or French (c. 200 words) by 15 February 2024 to Catriona.Seth@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk and giovanni.iamartino@unimi.it .

The eighteenth century saw the invention of modern tourism and a startling proliferation of new kinds of life-writing. This conference will explore how travellers wrote about themselves while they were away from home, and how our historical understanding of the phenomenon of travel – including domestic travel, but focusing on the Grand Tour – has relied on, but also been restricted by, travellers’ own accounts, whether they seek to project a specific image of themselves (public or private, true or self-censored) or are unaware of how much they are giving up. Letters, diaries, journals, travelogues and any kind of personal reminiscences – either real or fictional – may provide textual evidence of the ‘travelling self’. Biotourism, the selves on tour, absent selves and the life-writing of travel are some of the approaches which colleagues might like to envisage.

The conference is being planned under the aegis of the British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies and the Società Italiana di Studi sul Secolo Diciottesimo (who have so far organised six international joint conferences) with the support of the Société Française d’Etude du XVIIIe Siècle, All Souls College Oxford, the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages of the University of Oxford, and the Maison Française d’Oxford.

A small number of bursaries to cover accommodation costs for unwaged or early career researchers will be provided. If you are applying for one, please indicate your current academic status in your proposal.

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