Who carries the luggage? Gendered discourses on companionship in travel writing [Working title]
Call for articles, peer-reviewed edited volume
We two ladies ... have found out and will maintain
that ladies alone get on in travelling much better than
with gentlemen ... The only use of a gentleman in
travelling is to look after the luggage, and we take
care to have no luggage.
(Emily Lowe, Unprotected Females in Norway: Or, The Pleasantest Way of Travelling There. 1857)
It is generally assumed that early travel reports were predominantly written by men because they moved more freely in the public sphere. For the same reason, so scholars have argued, women did not appear in travel literature as travel companions but rather as objects of desire or as someone to return home to. Since the 1970s in particular, the absence of women in the mobile societies of Europe and beyond has been questioned. After a reappraisal of diaries, letters, scientific reports, etc. of travelling women in the 19th and 20th centuries, it has become clear that women undertook voyages of their own, some in companionship of other women, others in companionship of men. Modern scholarship has acknowledged this more nuanced image of the practice of travel, but the ways in which men and women travellers interacted with each other while en route have not yet been a systematic focus of scholarly attention. The present volume aims to fill that gap.
We invite scholars to contribute to this study by looking at discourses that underlie texts dealing with men and women travelling together. We welcome papers that focus on any particular text or genre that belongs to the broad category of (pre-modern, modern and postmodern) travel literature. These include real or fantastical travel journals, travelogues and travel guides, blogs and accounts on social media, but also documents such as pilgrim stories, and classical texts such as the Bible, Homer’s Odyssey and the Ramayana. Papers might deal with all questions related to travel, gender and texts, e.g.:
- How did men and women represent themselves and each other in their travelogues?
- How different or how similar were their travelling experiences and the roles they assumed during the journey?
- How were their writings on their trips evaluated in the press?
Please send your 300-500-word abstract by April 1 2016 to F.Meens@let.ru.nl, with subject line “Call for papers, Who carries the luggage?”. Abstracts should state the author’s affiliation, contact e-mail, title and aims of the paper, the methodology used, the theoretical orientation including literature as well as expected results or conclusions. Please note that your abstract must describe original work that has not been published previously and should not have been submitted for publication elsewhere. The abstracts will be peer-reviewed by June 1, and the authors of the selected papers will be asked to deliver their final version no later than October 15, 2016. The final paper should be 5000-7000 words in length. The publication language will be English.
The edited volume will be submitted to a peer-reviewed publisher.
Dr. Lien Foubert, Dr. Floris Meens, Dr. Tom Sintobin
Radboud University, The Netherlands