Call for Papers: Victorian Travel and Imperial Spaces: A Symposium

University of Kent (Canterbury)

15-16 May 2015

Keynote Speaker: Dr Silvia Antosa (Dipartimento di Scienze Umane, Università degli Studi di Palermo)

Plenary Speaker: Professor Abdulrazak Gurnah (School of English, University of Kent)
Modern, faster forms of transport, new commercial routes changed the ways in which people, goods and ideas travelled, in the late-19th century and the early-20th century. The impact of global trade and new travel on the imperial project was immense: from the birth of modern tourism to the emergence of new types of travellers, e.g., to the settler colonies, Victorian travel redefined the relation between space, humans, objects, at home and abroad.
This symposium at the University of Kent will explore the crucial relationship between travel and imperial spaces in literature, history, the arts and cultural studies, in the late-Victorian and Edwardian eras.
We therefore welcome abstracts and panel proposals (250 words) for 20-minute papers, from any of these disciplines, to be submitted by the 28th of February 2015 to or
Topics may include but are not limited to:
• The British Empire in Victorian travel narratives
• Empire and empires in neo-Victorian and postcolonial literature
• Crossing border(s), shaping boundaries, identities and empires
• Women travellers, women writers
• Writing Africa
• Identity in Victorian travel literature
• Victorian popular fiction
• Travel at the fin de siècle
• European powers and colonial empires
• The Ottoman Empire, the Central European Empires, the Russian Empire
• Travelling across peripheries and centres: urban and rural spaces in the Victorian era
• Empires and new nations: independence and partition
• Theorising the colonial and the postcolonial

We especially welcome proposals from postgraduate students and early-career researchers, and we will offer 4 bursaries to the postgraduate students who will submit the best abstracts. For further information, please contact the organisers.

The event will include a visit to Chatham Dockyards, on Friday the 15th in the afternoon. Ticket included in the conference registration.
Registration: £20

For any queries, please contact the organizers: Barbara Franchi ( and Elvan Mutlu (

The event is supported by the Centre for Victorian Literature and Culture, and the Centre for Colonial and Postcolonial Studies (School of English, University of Kent).


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