Colloquium20.09.2023 to 21.09.2023
Travel Literature: Between World Knowledge, Creation, and Domination
03:00pm - 6:00 pm | Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal


Travel books have, over the centuries, constituted a multifaceted narrative genre in which Literature intersects with History, Anthropology, and Science. With varying degrees of descriptive detail and embellishment, travellers recount their experiences during their journeys to make them known to an interested audience. The advent of the printing press brought new prospects to the dissemination of travel books that had previously circulated as manuscript copies. The 'maritime discoveries,' encounters and clashes with the Other, and the desire to disseminate information and create knowledge resulted into a progressive refinement in narrative and representation, spurred by the use of images to appeal to prospective readers. They also contributed to the creation of other forms of domination (symbolic, sociocultural, territorial), which were wielded by states and certain political and social sectors as a means of, among others, symbolic, political and geostrategic stances. The primary genres of travel accounts relate to pilgrimages, religious expansion, conquest, trade, geographic and scientific exploration, leisure, tourism and, not least important, fictional journeys. As for editorial formats, we can consider, among others, diaries, guides, epistolary correspondence, as well as scientific reports and literary narratives by writer-travelers. The advent of new technologies opened doors to 'digital travelers,' bringing knowledge of places, cultures, and societies to an active sharing of experiences and images and, ultimately, to new models of travel books.

In this colloquium, we intend to examine the importance of travel books in different eras and societies, their dissemination and reception by various audiences, and the impact of the digital paradigm on this literary genre. The presentation of case studies will also constitute an opportunity to discuss concepts, narrative models, and stereotyp



Organizing Committee

Daniel Melo  (CHAM)
Fernanda Maria Guedes de Campos  (CHAM)
Margarida Rendeiro (CHAM)




Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal


Poster (.pdf)