Thursday, March 8, 2012

Call for Papers: The inaugural conference of the Travel Research Network will be held at The University of Melbourne, 18-20 July 2012

Travel is an ideal for many people, with more and more members of affluent societies using travel to broaden their education and "expand the imaginative horizons of human potentialities", as Isaiah Berlin suggests in his 1988 Agnelli Prize Speech, "The Pursuit of the Ideal". Alternative ideals include the prospect of realizing one's true potential in a place and a culture where the burdens of class, gender, sexuality, history, politics, religion and language can be renegotiated.
But travel is not only the means to realizing an ideal; the process of travelling can be an ideal in and of itself, with some travellers simply being at home in movement, as opposed to the fixity of a destination. Does this mean that the mere act of leaving "home" is a realization of the ideal? Does the actual experience of travel influence the outcome or is it enough just to be outside the norms and routines of everyday life? How can achievement of the travel ideal be recognized and validated?
The ideal of travel may also be associated with arrival at a planned destination, the moment when the traveller's gaze alights on the desired objective - to be possessed as an experience or a photograph or a blog entry. Mary Louise Pratt's seminal work on travel narratives Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation (1992, 2007) provides a framework for analyzing the "appropriating gaze" of colonial territoriality, but is also relevant to contemporary travel in developing regions, as well as various other contexts.
We invite papers (and panels) that focus on either the trajectory or the destination or encompass both, and which will contribute to an overall program that demonstrates the pluralism of ideals in travel writing, cultural tourism and mobility studies. We welcome proposals from various disciplines including anthropology, area studies, cinema studies, creative writing, cultural studies, geography, historical studies, language and literature studies, media and communications, migration and mobility studies, philosophy, postcolonial studies, sociology, tourism, and travel writing and other relevant areas, as well as interdisciplinary approaches.
Postgraduate students are most welcome to submit proposals for papers and panels in the program and there will be activities and sessions designed to address specific research issues for postgraduate students during the conference.

Proposals may focus on, but need not be limited to:
• Ideals of Escape, Refashioning and Becoming
• Questions of Authenticity
• Roots, Belonging and Homecoming
• Imaginary Travel and Tourism Imaginaries
• Liminality
• Wanderlust
• Trauma, Dark and Thanatourism
• Memorial Tourism
• Leisure and Luxury Travel
• Migration and Diasporas
• Cinema and Photography of Travel
• Creativity and Armchair Travelling
• Writing and Performing Mobility
• Medical Tourism
• Gastronomic Pursuits
• Disasters, Wars and Conflicts
• Political and Ecological Activism
• Voluntourism, Gap Year and Aid Workers Abroad
• Historical Tourism, Collective and Personal Memoirs
• Translation, Languages and Intercultural Communication
• Representations of Place
• Spiritual Travelling and Pilgrimage Tourism
• Physical Challenges, Thrill-seeking and Speed in Travel
• Slow Travel
• Utopia and Travel, Utopian Tourism

Please send abstracts of 200-300 words including Paper/Panel title, Institutional Affiliation and Contact Details before 30 April 2012 to Josiane Smith (Research Associate): Notification of paper/panel acceptance by 15 May 2012

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