Beyond the Grand Tour: Metropolises of the North in Early Modern Travel Colture
European Association of Urban Historians’ (EAUH) Conference Lisbon, 3-6 September 2014
Deadline for paper proposals submission: October 15, 2013 Notification of paper acceptance: December 15, 2013
Due to a plethora of coffee-table books and exhibitions on the Grand Tour it is easy to forget that there were other patterns and modes of 18th century travel. Paris, Amsterdam and Brussels turned into popular travel destinations for British lords and commoners, while German elites were gradually ensnared by London as a most fashionable metropolis. London and Paris were also high on the agenda of Dutch burghers, even as their eyes were also travelling eastwards to Berlin, Dresden, Hannover, and Cologne. Metropolises of the north thus gradually started to compete with Florence, Venice, Rome and other southern towns, which had drawn travellers for centuries.
Our session at the European Association of Urban Historians Conference will explore this new blueprint of early modern travel behaviour in more detail. Firstly our session will offer a fresh perspective by reconstructing trends and topography. How popular were London, Paris, Dresden, and other metropolises of the north in comparison to the south? Can we shed some light on broad, long-term evolutions? Moreover, we especially invite papers, which try to link the growing/declining magnetism of these metropolises to some sweeping social changes. For textbook-wisdom holds, that eighteenth-century Europe saw some large-scale evolutions: the rise of absolutism, the commercial revolution, secularization, the commercialization of leisure, the Enlightenment. Last but not least, some parts of Europe experienced unprecedented urbanization and opened up by improvements in transport infrastructure.
The session will explore how these grand evolutions shaped actual travel behaviour. Were French, German, and Dutch travellers, for example, lured by London’s relatively new reputation as a fashion capital or rather enticed by its booming leisure infrastructure? How did the extensive building program of Louis XIV and the gradual reshaping of Paris in a modern metropolis add to its attraction on foreign travellers? Were travel itineraries shaped by infrastructural changes in the transport system and how important were industrial sites (Coalbrookdale, Liège) as destinations. Were the metropolises of the north (un)consciously branded as “modern” or “fashionable” and southern towns as “old”?
Clearly, this subject can be broached by using all sorts of source material. Diaries, travel journals, guidebooks, and other travel books are the most obvious sources, but we also invite papers based on iconographic material (prints, plans or paintings), bureaucratic sources (registers of the custom office, hotels or coaches) and other sources.
Roey Sweet - Centre For Urban History, University Of Leicester,UK firstname.lastname@example.org
Gerrit Verhoeven - Centre For Urban History, University Of Antwerp,Belgium, email@example.com
Please contact the session organisers for further information.
Please submit your proposal at http://www.eauh2014.fcsh.unl.pt.
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