Call for Papers: Questioning Travel III: Travel Writing, Writing about Travel Writing, Questioning Ourselves. The Society for American Travel Writing. American Literature Association Annual Conference, 27-30 May 2004, Hyatt Regency San Francisco, San Francisco, CA.
The Society for American Travel Writing, a member society of the American Literature Association, issues a call for papers for a session at the ALA 2004 conference in San Francisco, CA. Entitled Questioning Travel III: Travel Writing, Writing about Travel Writing, and the Imperial Endeavor, the session will engage the relationship between criticism of travel writing and the “imperial endeavor” described by Helen Gilbert and Anna Johnston. Papers are welcome on specific American authors or on theoretical is-sues whose discussion includes American writers.
Papers should be 20 minutes in length. A general statement on the topic and avenues of inquiry that might helpfully be explored would read as follows:
Gilbert and Johnston write that “Contemporary travel writing may well be attempting to find a new way to encounter the world, based on less exploitative and hierarchical rela-tions than those enacted in earlier periods, but traces of imperial endeavor haunt the very vocabulary, grammar, form, and subjectivities available to the Western traveler, which, in turn, makes possible the continued power, influence, and effect of imperial modes of ex-periencing and narrating difference.”
If travel writing itself is limited in the ways described above, does writing about travel writing – analysis and criticism of travel writing and/or travel writers – find itself limited in similar fashion? In short, does the growing body of writing about travel writing ques-tion the imperial endeavor, or does it willingly or unwillingly participate in supporting imperial modes of experiencing and narrating difference?
Abstracts of no more than two pages may be submitted by mail or, preferably, by email, to the address below, or via email by 15 January 2004.
Dr. Russ Pottle
Department of Literature
Saint Joseph Seminary College
75376 River Road
St. Benedict, LA 70457
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