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The Traveller’s Tale. Emergent Forms and Minority Traditions (Clermont-Ferrand)

The Traveller’s Tale. Emergent Forms and Minority Traditions (Clermont-Ferrand)

Publié le par Marc Escola (Source : Catherine Songoulashvili)

The Traveller’s Tale. Emergent Forms and Minority Traditions.

November 14 and 15, 2024

Centre de Recherches sur les Littératures et la Sociopoétique (CELIS, UR 4280) -Université Clermont Auvergne

The traveller's tale, hailed as the 'most socially important of genres' (Tim Youngs, Cambridge Introduction to Travel Writing [2013]), has long served as a major medium for disseminating knowledge about the broader world, whether transmitted orally, in manuscript, or in print. At best, travel accounts have developed cross-cultural understanding, fostering tolerance and cosmopolitanism. However, recent scholarly studies have revealed instances where travel accounts have reenforced cultural bias, and various forms of marginalization and decentring. The global project ‘The Traveller’s Tale: Global Forms and Circulations’ led by Dr Carl Thompson (University of Surrey, UK), aims to explore the evolving forms of travel writing in our era of globalization and technological advancement. It will consider the myriad ways in which travel narratives are proliferating and diversifying, redefining the centre and margins of mainstream travel story telling.

The first event in this planned global project is the conference The Traveller’s Tale: Emergent Forms and Minority Traditions which will take place in Clermont-Ferrand on November 14 and 15 to coincide with the Rendez Vous du Carnet de Voyage annual travel journal festival in the city which is associated with this project. Hosted by the CELIS research centre, its focus will be twofold: first, it will examine lesser-known travel traditions in so-called ‘minority languages’ in Europe, such as Welsh, Gaelic, and Yiddish. Here we wish to shed light on the writings of travellers from marginalized communities seeking to diversify mainstream modes of travelogue in major languages.

Secondly, it will reflect on innovation in the field of travel literature and orature and on new, emerging types of traveller’s tale. The overarching theme encompasses the hybridization of travel writing forms, showcasing the interplay between tradition and innovation in this evolving literary genre. Notable innovations include the emergence of mixed media, online blogs, social media posts, and podcasts. 

The focus extends to the visual arts, emphasizing intermedial graphic travelogues, travel journals, and the French carnet de voyage which is ‘an art of experimentation’ (Pascale Argod, The Art of Sketching: 400 Years of Travel Diaries [2016]). These diverse forms of expression offer novel perspectives on mobility, reimagining and reinventing traditions associated with urban sketching and landscape painting, especially pertinent in an age dominated by digital omnipresence.

Another significant focal point is oratory literature, travel soundscapes and recordings that convey narratives in innovative ways such as testimonies, or live performances as dynamic means of storytelling that engage audiences in novel and transformative ways. 

Keynote speaker: Dr. Carl Thompson, University of Surrey, author of Travel Writing, Routledge (2011)

The language of the conference will be English.

We welcome papers lasting 20-30 minutes on (but not limited to) the following topics:

-Travel stories in minority languages, multicultural and transcultural perspectives.

-Orature and storytelling traditions in travel literatures 

-Travel literature and intermediality

-The mediation of travel writing 

-Emerging forms of travel writing (mixed media, online blogs, social media posts, and podcasts.)

-Travel diaries, graphic travelogues, urban sketching, carnet de voyage


Please send your title and abstract (around 250 words) and short bio to Catherine Morgan-Proux ( and Anne Rouhette ( before May 10, 2024.