Monday, April 18, 2011

Cfp: "Philosophies of Travel: Exploring the Value of Travel in Art, Literature, and Society," University of Sydney, September 30-October 1, 2011.

Journey, pilgrimage, linear narration; what are the paradigms of travel and how do we think on them? The philosophies of travel make vital revelations about the cultures from which travellers emerge. Do we travel, to change ourselves or as Samuel Johnson argued, to “regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are”? Or do we use the journey to ‘turn back’ on things reflectively, or, as Pliny wrote, “to see what we disregard when it is under our own eyes.” From the ‘temple tourists’ of Augustan Rome, to Thomas Cook’s dreams of a tourism-enabled sobriety, to iPod™-wielding backpackers in the ashrams of India, travel has been understood as education, forging, exploration (both of the worlds of others and of the self), as well as frivolity, hedonism, and colonialism. Tourists have even been called the “barbarians of our Age of Leisure” (Turner and Ash 1975). This conference will look at the habits, traditions, and writings of travellers from the past and the present in order to build a picture of what travel is and has been understood to be for the traveller.

Abstracts for papers of 20min length are welcome on any of the following subjects:
  • Philosophical justifications of/explanations of the impulse to travel
  • Pilgrimage, religious tourism, and spiritual tourism
  • Identity, meaning, and tourism 
  • The aesthetics of travel in art, literature, or film
  • Ideals of travel/ideals of journeying
  • Reactions against travellers/travel
Abstracts of no more than 250 words, as well as a short paragraph with biographical information, should be submitted by 30 June 2011 to Alex Norman (

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