Monday, 10 January 2011


Modes of Transport: Travel Writing and Form, 1780-1914

King’s College London, 26 & 27 May 2011

Speakers include:

Mary Beard

Simon Goldhill

Dane Kennedy

Clare Pettitt

Alison Chapman, Peter Garratt, Anne Green, Michael Ledger-Lomas, Muireann O’ Cinneide, Matthew Rubery & Carl Thompson

There has always been a certain amount of unease and anxiety about how best to mould the quotidian, often repetitious, experience of travel into a digestible, literary narrative. The travel writer cannibalises other modes of literary, geographical and scientific writing, while simultaneously forging experimental, innovative and dynamic forms in the struggle to represent the heterogeneous and often chaotic experience of travel. It is the aim of this two-day conference to bring academic researchers and travel writers together in order to explore the relationship between travel writing and formal innovation in a variety of media across the long-nineteenth century. As Franco Moretti has suggested, ‘new space gives rise to a new form’, and the period 1780-1914 saw the rise of both new technologies of movement and new categories of traveller. We are specifically interested in how the new perspectives, networks, and markets enabled by these developments impacted upon literary and media form and how these narratives in turn affected the ways in which people travelled.

Topics will include:

Journals and Letters
Travel in Verse
Transport and Literary Form

Mobile Reading
Tourism and Visual Culture
Literary Pilgrimage

Special Workshop: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) historical collection

Registration and further details at:

Or contact Mary Henes and Brian Murray at

Supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Institute (King’s College London) and the Cambridge Leverhulme Victorian Studies Group