Researchers’ Blog

Call for papers for a panel on the ins and outs of the travel writing industry

Call for papers for a panel on the ins and outs of the travel writing industry

As part of our upcoming New Narratives of the Arctic conference to be held in Roskilde next May, we are announcing a panel that will look beyond textual analyses of travel writing to focus particularly on the industry that lies behind the production of such writing. If you are interested in presenting a paper as part of this panel, please send in abstracts (250 words max) to the convenors by 5 January.

Panel
Travel/ing Texts: The pitching, promoting, commissioning, editing, writing and distribution of travel literatures
Convenors: Simone Abram (post@sabram.co.uk) and Roger Norum (r.norum@leeds.ac.uk)
Discussant: Hans Lucht

Despite the abundant attention paid to analysing and critically discussing travel texts, and the attention to tourism practices, a surprising lacuna exists around the industry that fuels the production and circulation of travel writing and photography. Travel texts (including newspaper destination features, magazine spreads, guide-books, photo-essays, novelistic first-person travelogues, reader-generated content, promotional literature and ‘advertorials’) are produced out of highly structured, sometimes unstable or fleeting relations, and follow particular routes of circulation. Texts that find their way into readers’ hands, through newspapers, magazines, blogs or other media, emerge from a series of negotiations and relationships between writers, press officers, destination management organisations, tour operators, editors, publishers, as well as tourism and culture ministries. If we are to understand the significance of travel texts (including visual and film media), and the role they play in tourism practices and travel imaginaries, we can no longer afford to ignore the means by which travel/writing is produced. If tourism, as Franklin argued, is about the ordering of desire, the production of travel literature should be central to our questions about how the desire to travel is stimulated. Examining how tourist literature is produced thus enables us to find new ways to address how tourism imaginaries, expectations, powers and practices are reproduced, and by whom.

In this panel, we invite papers that discuss the processes and practices by which travel writing comes into the world, drawing on analytical approaches from across the social sciences and humanities (cultural studies, anthropology, literary criticism, cultural/human geography, history etc.) . While the panel will include papers on the global travel-writing industry, we particularly welcome studies of travel writing in, on or about the Arctic (or Antarctic) regions, as well as papers that address linguistic contexts other than English.

Suitable areas for discussion may (but need not) include:

- relations, actors, practices of travel/writing industries
- textual conventions, and/or self-discipline in travel writing production
- travel journalism, promotional literature (‘brochureware’ etc) , trave(b)logues
- commissioning, pitching, editing, research, press activities.
- reciprocity and exchange in press/familiarisation trips, freebies and travel press events and competitions
- lineages and linkages between exploration narratives, ethnography and travel writing (both fiction and non-fiction)

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