Conference Call for Papers

September 20, 2011

Moving Dangerously: Women and Travel, 1850-1950 

13-14 April 2012, Newcastle University

Keynote Speakers:

Alexandra Peat (Franklin College, Switzerland)

Avril Maddrell (University of the West of England)

The period between 1850 and 1950 is widely acknowledged to have been one of dramatic societal and cultural change, not least in terms of women’s experience of and relationship to travel. The rapid expansion of the travel networks both nationally and internationally towards the end of the nineteenth century coincided with the impact of first wave feminism, as the suffragette movement gathered momentum and the figure of the New Woman appeared. By 1950, new forms of technology and transport, and their widespread availability, had substantially altered women’s perception of and ability to travel.

This two-day international and interdisciplinary conference invites papers that explore the changing relationship of women and travel across key moments in modernity, such the First World War and its effects on women’s independence, the developments in British Imperial activity, and the boom in rail, air and sea travel. The conference aims to stimulate academic discussion on a range of topics relating to women and travel in the period ranging from 1850-1950. These topics include representations of women and travel in fiction and film, non-fictional portrayals and documentations, as well as archival work on first-hand accounts of women travellers. As such, we welcome papers from those working in the fields of Literature, History, Geography, Film and Media, Modern Languages, Gender/Women’s Studies, and Politics.

Potential paper topics might include considerations of: both published and unpublished travel-writings by women of the period; fictional accounts of travel written by women throughout the period; representations of women travellers in contemporary biography; representations of women and travel during the period in fiction and film, and the benefits of archival research into women and travel on contemporary understandings of women’s role in modernity.

Please send abstracts of 250 words for 20 minute papers to: by 30 November 2011.

The conference is presented in association with the Gender Research Group and the Long-Nineteenth Century Research Cluster at Newcastle University, and is supported by a grant from the Catherine Cookson Foundation.