The conference will take place via Zoom.
John Urry’s seminal work, The Tourist Gaze (1990), initiated a “cultural turn” in travel studies, leading to an exploration of how tourism generates discourse, and how representation becomes part of the social and cultural landscapes travellers cross, transforming them. Using the European context as a reference, Urry identified 1840 and the diffusion of mass tourism as a turning point, and discussed tourism as one crucial characteristic of the modern experience.
A rich literature has since explored these themes, in relation to the geopolitics of a globalizing world. In this conference, we aim to investigate the transformative nature of travel, as a form of temporary separation from the everyday – motivated by recreational, educational, religious, or diplomatic reasons – focusing on the period from the beginning of the eighteenth century to the earliest decades of the nineteenth century. This period, which has received less scholarly attention, merits further investigation, in light of the interconnections of travel with national formation processes, with modernization, as well as with the geopolitics of colonialism. We also aim to explore travel and transformation in relation to different geographic contexts.
Was travel (domestic or international) an experience only available to the elites before the mid-nineteenth century? Were there forms of tourism, or even mass tourism? What was the role played by travel-related media (cartography, art, literature) in advertising, representing and imagining travel? How did travel and travel-related media affect social, cultural, political and economic change, and relations between countries?
Confirmed keynote speaker: Professor Laura Nenzi (The University of Tennessee, Knoxville).
The language of the conference will be English.
Please send any queries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The conference is part of the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions Project Travel in Tokugawa Period Japan (1603-1868): Identity, Nation and Social Transformation led by Dr. Sonia Favi (2019-2021). The project, funded by the European Commission (Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme), investigates the social and cultural history of Tokugawa Japan (1603-1868) through maps from the John Rylands Library Japanese Collection (https://www.library.manchester.ac.uk/search-resources/special-collections/guide-to-special-collections/a-to-z/collection/?match=Japanese+Collection)