In his letter to Philippe de Lannoy, from 1578 (De ratione cum fructu peregrinandi et praesertim in Italia), Justus Lipsius summarized the aims of traveling as: ‘utilitas’ and ‘voluptas’. Traveling, according to Lipsius, would lead to spiritual enrichment, as it would bring one into contact with different people, different lifestyles, and different customs and morals. At the same time, it would increase knowledge about other countries and places, and about history. More or less at the same time appeared a growing number of guides and treatises on traveling (artes apodemicae), meant to prepare travelers for their trip, giving advice on how to deal with the various mores in different countries and supplying ‘cultural’ information on topography, history, important monuments and other attractions.
In this volume, we want to study the production of knowledge shaped by the traveling guides and artes apodemicae, especially in their interaction with the actual practices of traveling and acquiring knowledge. What was the formative importance of (printed) guides and travel literature for the practice of traveling? How decisive was the information they supplied in directing the travelers’ interest and attention, and in shaping their views and knowledge? Or, the other way round, was the information offered in guides and art literature specified and/or expanded, or did it acquire a different scope as a result of increasing knowledge or ‘new’ fields of interest developed by travelers? And in which ways did the literature on traveling affect other areas of knowledge production, either established academic disciplines or new fields of knowledge?
Topics to be addressed may include:
- The use of travel literature and (national or local) guides. As books were often too heavy or expensive to carry around during a visit ‘on the spot’, to what extent and in which way were they consulted beforehand or afterwards? How did this use beforehand or afterwards affect the visitors’ experience?
- Travel literature and (national or local) guides in relation to travel accounts. As travel reports were often written after the voyage had been made, much of the information in them was based on consultation of guides afterwards. What does that mean for the reliability of travel accounts?
- What was the impact of the target audience of (national or local) guides? What differences can be discerned between guides written in Latin (obviously for a learned public) and vernacular ones (or vernacular versions)? To what extent was the kind of information adapted (expanded, or cut down) to target a wider audience?
- What was the nature and scope of travel reports? Were they in the first place a listing of things done and visited or do they reflect the ‘spiritual enrichment’ that travel theorists such as Lipsius were writing about? What kind of travel accounts were published and what kind remained in manuscript, and what does that say about their aim, function and intended audience?
- How much of the information offered in (national or local) guides was actually ‘new’? To a large extent, the various guides of a specific city or region repeated each other. Were they regularly updated with the inclusion of new monuments (recently finished buildings, modern works of art, etc.) or with newly acquired information (dates and names etc.)?
- To what extent have their listings of monuments shaped our present canon of important art works and ‘not to be missed’ attractions? Are monuments that were not included (e.g. because they were not (easily) accessible) still being disregarded, even though they were/are of high cultural or historical importance?
- The importance of other sources of information besides guides and travel literature, such as (historical) writings by antique, medieval and (near) contemporary authors, collections of inscriptions, prints and book illustrations.
Please submit a one-page abstract (ca. 300 words) and a short curriculum vitae (max. two pages) to both editors, before December 1, 2016:
- Karl Enenkel, Medieval and Early Modern Latin Philology, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität, Münster: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Jan L. de Jong, History of Early Modern Art, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen: email@example.com
Applicants will be notified before January 1, 2017. Depending funding, a conference with all authors is planned to take place in Münster, in November 2017. Final chapters are due by February 1, 2018.