Borders & Crossings: A Transdisciplinary Conference on Travel Writing
University of Tartu
6-8 July 2022
The 2022 edition of the Borders & Crossings conference series acknowledges more than two decades of intense development in the transdisciplinary study of travel writing, which is now a well-established field of research in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.
The 2022 conference will take part in a unique context: that of a post-Soviet and Nordic country situated in a European geographical, economic and political context. Estonia’s history is marked by successive occupations, which could arguably be considered as a form of travel from the point of view of the occupiers. These occupations have affected travel to and from this area, and generated specific mobility, such as deportation and diaspora. This context brings our attention to restricted travels and the forms of control at work when it comes to travel. Additionally, this conference acknowledges the emergency of the ecological crisis and the pressure that travelling can put on the Earth system. With these considerations in mind, we invite conference participants to reflect on the following themes:
Travel and translation, especially concerning “small languages”
Travel to/from/around the Nordic and Baltic countries
North-north, North-south, East-west interactions
Dominant and vulnerable travellers and travellees
Travel and decolonialization
Slowness and stillness
Familiar places and microspection
Human and nonhuman travels
Travel and the Anthropocene
Travel and nature writing, ecocriticism
Fiction and reality of travel
Digital and proxy travels
Travel and diseases, cure travels and places
Images in transit
Theories of travel and travel writing
Travel and gender/sexuality
Travel journalism, guidebooks and digital media
Craft and practice of travel writing
Heritage, pilgrimage and footsteps travel
The conference will take place at the University of Tartu and is open to postgraduate students, academics, and practitioners (inside or outside academia) interested in travel writing from a broad range of perspectives. With this conference, we wish to insist on the inclusivity of this field of study and practice and welcome proposals from but not restricted to literary studies, travel and tourism studies, media and journalism studies, creative writing, history, politics, sociology, and geography, with a focus on any time period and any geographical context.
Proposals are invited for 20-minute papers or creative pieces, and for 60-minute panels of three speakers or writing workshops. Proposals of approximately 250 words for a paper (up to 600 words for a panel or workshop), accompanied by a short bionote (no longer than 100 words) including your academic affiliation (if applicable), should be sent to:
(.doc or docx format appreciated) by 1 March 2022. Notifications of acceptance will be sent by 1 April.
Although we wish for all participants to be able to attend the conference in Tartu, we plan for a hybrid conference so that participants unable to travel can still present their paper. A publication following the conference is planned but it will entail re-submitting an article abstract for a special issue in a peer-reviewed journal.
Deadline for abstracts: 1 March
Notification of acceptance: 1 April
Conference dates: 6-8 July