‘Navigating Networks: Women, Travel and Female Communities’

‘Navigating Networks: Women, Travel, and Female Communities’
An Interdisciplinary Conference Hosted by the Travel Cultures Seminar Series
 University of Oxford
~4 October 2013~
In the field of travel studies, the past two decades have witnessed an ever-growing interest in women’s travel writing. One aim of scholars has been to counter stereotypical assumptions about travel and travel writing being a principally masculine enterprise, emphasising instead that the perception of the gendering of travel is to a large extent a misconception, an ideological construct that assumes the notion of gendered separate spheres. This day-­long conference seeks to move beyond the already established fact that women travelled far more than the patriarchal ideology of separate spheres would suggest. It aims to delve further into the rich topic of women’s travel and travel writing practices by examining the ways in which women navigated female networks and created communities with one another, both through their travels and travel writing. In doing so, it will draw upon the notion of travel as a means of building networks and fostering connections with others. Through an examination of various female travel networks, this conference seeks to explore further the significance of women’s travel throughout the ages, including the opportunities for communication it fostered and the unique privileges that it cultivated.
We invite papers that address the topic of women’s travel networks in any historical period. We welcome discussion on any of the following: nonfictional or literary accounts; diaries; letters; articles; films; documentaries; photographs; and paintings.
Topics may include, but are not limited to:
The Act of Travel
• women travelling in groups, independently of men (‘unprotected’ female travellers, spinsters abroad)
• access to exclusively female spaces abroad (harems, baths, spas, circles of gossip)

• development of alliances between the female traveller and the female local

• issues of ‘othering’ – do women have an imperial agenda or do they sympathise with foreign women?

• bonds of sisterhood, friendship, and partnerships

• communities of female expats; salons and social scenes abroad

• feminine self-­fashioning: creation of female travel identities abroad

• negative associations with female travel networks: women’s aversion to being lumped together with other female travellers; their desire to break free from collective identities and stereotypes
Recording Travels
• female literary communities developed through the practice of travel and writing
• female travel writers’ engagement with one another’s texts
• female reception to travel texts

• modern travel blogs

• travelogues, advice books, or periodical pieces aimed at female readers/ travellers
• similar stylistic characteristics of women’s travel writing
• shared attitudes, interests, and goals in women’s travel writing
Please send abstracts of no more than 250 words (for papers of 20 minutes) to Hannah Sikstrom and Kimberly Marsh at <travelculturesseminar@gmail.com> by 1 April 2013.
Travel Cultures is an interdisciplinary seminar series at the University of Oxford for anyone with an interest in inter-­cultural communication, exploration, and travel writing.

Greece and Britain in Women’s Literary Imagination, 1913-2013

Greece and Britain in Women’s Literary Imagination, 1913-2013

April 12th 2013

Selwyn College, Cambridge


The Modern Greek Section of the University of Cambridge and the Society for Modern Greek Studies are very happy to announce that this conference will take place at Selwyn College on Friday April 12th 2013. It will examine the work of British women novelists who have found their inspiration and subject matter in Greece, as well as novels by Greek women writers who have engaged with British settings and subjects. The authors to be discussed range from Rose Macaulay and Virginia Woolf to Victoria Hislop and Sofka Zinovieff on the British side; on the Greek side we shall engage with the work of Angela Dimitrakaki, Soti Triantafyllou and a number of other contemporary authors. We believe there is a rich vein of cultural interactions which have not been specifically examined and this conference will therefore be breaking new ground.

The keynote speaker is:

Vassiliki Kolocotroni (University of Glasgow)

Other speakers include:

Rowena Fowler (Oxford)
Deirdre David (Temple University)
Sofka Zinovieff (Athens/London)
Kelli Daskala (University of Crete)
Laura Vivanco (Edinburgh)
Thodoris Chiotis (University of Oxford)
Soti Triantafyllou (Athens/New York)


Registration is open now. The full fee is £35, and we are happy to offer a reduced rate for students of £20. For members of the Society for Modern Greek Studies the fee is £30. There will be a conference dinner at Selwyn College in the evening, and some accommodation is also available in College for the nights of April 11th and 12th. Please use the link to register online as well as to book for the dinner and to reserve accommodation if you require it: Conference Registration. The closing date for registration for the conference is April 5th, but for the dinner and accommodation the closing date is March 28th.

For more information, please visit the Conference website.

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