International conference at the Villa Vigoni, Menaggio, Italy,
26-29 July 2010

Organized by Prof. Dr. Joseph Imorde, University of Siegen, Germany
and Erik Wegerhoff, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Switzerland


Give what scope you please to your fancy, you will never imagine half the
disagreeableness that Italian beds, Italian cooks, Italian post-horses,
Italian postilions, and Italian nastiness, offer to an Englishmanu Sharp:
Letters from Italy (1766), p. 43 (letter XI, Rome, October 1765)

The conference Dirty Sheets. The Underside of the Grand Tour aims to
establish the cultural context of unfavourable travel accounts of Italy
from the long eighteenth to the twentieth century. Academic discourse, not
to mention popular conception, have long seen Italy as a dazzling
destination yearned for by the northern European soul. This conference,
however, will address an equally important tradition: disenchantment with
and desertion of the Italian ideal.

The two-day workshop will focus on the
disillusion with, aversion to and rejection of Italy in travel accounts,
diaries and letters, and on historically situating critical or pejorative
opinions with regard to the sources in which they appear. We welcome case
studies which illustrate these, as well as continuities and changes in the
negative perception of Italy. Why do Grand Tourists present themselves as
the other? How is this 'otherliness' shaped, formed, created or staged?
Where did the preconceptions with which they traveled originate; how did
they become conventional? How widely shared are these criteria of
evaluation? This conference aims to map the contours of a cultural history
of disillusion for Italy.

Please send an abstract (max. 400 words) and a brief CV by 1 March 2010 to both

Joseph Imorde ([log in to unmask])
Erik Wegerhoff ([log in to unmask])

Presentations should be no longer than 30 minutes. Papers may be held in
English, Italian and German. A knowledge of German will be beneficial to
those who wish to actively participate in discussion. Travel expenses and
accommodation will be reimbursed.

Conference Venue:
Villa Vigoni
Deutsch-Italienisches Zentrum
Centro Italo-Tedesco
Via Giulio Vigoni, 1

The German Studies Call for Papers List
Editor: Stefani Engelstein
Acting Assistant Editor:  Olaf Schmidt
Sponsored by the University of Missouri
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