Reiselust/Reisefieber/Reisezwang: German Travel Writing from the 18th to the 21st Century
Traveling and narrating have been intertwined from the beginning. These narratives have ranged from mythical tales and adventure stories to travel memoirs, expedition reports, guidebooks, and travel blogs. This panel invites papers on German travel writing from the 18th through the 21st century. We are particularly interested in theoretically informed papers that combine scholarship from various disciplines (i.e. tourism studies, history, cultural studies, and German literature). Our premise is that travel experiences build on pre-formed notions of what there is to see and in turn shape and influence what others are to see. Travel writing, as well as other media forms such as the blog and the public presentation of pictures, moreover allows for an engagement with the travel experience without actually having to travel at all (armchair travel). Travel narratives thus provide a rich tapestry of exchanges in terms of modalities of travel and sightseeing. We are interested in both diachronic and synchronic perspectives, in macro- and micro approaches to the history of travel. Ultimately the panel will address the question what German Studies can contribute to the history of travel as a cultural phenomenon in the German-speaking countries.
Paper topics might include (but not be limited to):
· The construction of the modern self through travel
· How does (real and imaginary) travel liberate the individual to construct new social conventions?
· How does the gender of the writer/traveler impact his/her experience and narrative?
· How are culturally charged destinations (i.e. Rome) perceived by contemporary writers? Is there a sense of travel writing tradition surrounding certain places? How is this tradition developing and changing?
· Genres (such as travel handbooks) that construct new coordinate systems
· How have technology and social media inventions impacted both traveling and the reception of travel?
· How do the modalities of travel (i.e. airports, train stations) affect travel writing?
Paper or panel proposals are due by January 15, 2014. Please submit a brief proposal (250 words) and cv by email to Karin Baumgartner (karin[dot]baumgartner[at]utah[dot]edu) and Daniela Richter (richt2dm[at]cmich[dot]edu).
Please note two important GSA rules: all panel participants including the commentator and moderator must be a registered GSA member before February 15, 2014 in order to submit panels for the annual conference.
Associate Professor German
Department of Languages and Literature
University of Utah
255 S. Central Campus Drive
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
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