Call for creative showcase contributions

Borders and Crossings 2019

An interdisciplinary conference on travel and travel writing

4–6 July 2019, University of Leicester, UK

Deadline for proposals: 25 March, 2019

Notification of acceptance: 1 April, 2019

Borders and Crossings 2019 invites creative practitioners from across the M4C DTP to showcase creative work that addresses, intersects with – or simply travels past – the conference themes.

The journey narrative with its ancient formula of departure/adventure/return is as old as literary culture itself. It takes in the Gilgamesh epic, the Odyssey, the Ramayana and much more besides. Modern narrative travel writing – typically first-person, notionally non-fictional accounts of journeys, encounters with difference or engagement with places – is simply one small part of a very grand tradition. The themes to be discussed during the CDF-funded Borders and Crossings conference at the University of Leicester in early July also include the pressing contemporary issues of borders, their crossings, and the fraught questions of mobility and immobility.

The main Call for Papers invites creative and critical-creative contributions, as well as proposals for more conventional scholarly papers (all of which will need to fit the standard panel format of 20-minute individual presentations).

However, we also aim to include a creative showcase element within the conference programme. This is initially open to M4C students only, but may later be opened to other PGRs from M4C institutions.

(To participate, your main M4C research does not itself need to be creative or practice-based; you may well be a historian who is also a poet, or a literary scholar who is also a singer-songwriter, and so on.)

Contributions in all forms, no matter how loosely linked to the conference themes, are warmly welcomed: poetry, prose, fiction, nonfiction, music, digital and audio-visual presentations, static artworks, photography, or anything else you can come up with. Individual presentations would need to be a maximum of ten minutes in length, but could equally be as brief as a single short poem (static installations may be displayed around the conference venue, if practical).

The wider conference will be a very welcoming affair. Travel writing studies is wildly interdisciplinary, and international gatherings of travel writing specialists are amongst the most eclectic and open-minded academic conferences you could hope for. As a CDF-funded event, PGR training opportunities will be built into the programme, including a very useful session on publishing led by two experienced senior scholars. Subsidies for travel for M4C students coming to the conference from outside Leicester will be available.

If you have would like to take part, or have any ideas or questions, please contact Tim Hannigan before 25 March: tah30@le.ac.uk

Please see the conference website for more background information: https://bordersandcrossings2019.wordpress.com/

Updates on Twitter: @2019Borders