CFP: New England Travels, Deadline November 9th, 2018

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Call for Papers:


New England Travels


Date: Saturday, March 16, 2019

Location: Historic Deerfield, Deerfield, MA

CFP Deadline: November 9th, 2018


A one-day symposium sponsored by Historic Deerfield and the Grace Slack McNeil Program for Studies in American Art at Wellesley College


As early as the 18th century, Americans and foreign observers alike remarked upon the restlessness of a population on the move despite the hardships, expense, and logistical challenges of long-distance travel. After the Revolution, a growing network of roads, canals, railroads and steamships connected Americans to destinations both near and far. Whether journeying for business, pleasure, health reasons, or to visit kin, many travelers recorded their impressions in works of art as well as writing. Nineteenth-century New Englanders seemed especially prone to journey far from their homes as they succumbed to what one observer described as "Yankee roam-all-over-the-world-itiveness."


This day-long symposium will explore the art and material culture of New England travel. We invite papers that explore the material aspects of travel, within New England as well as New Englanders traveling outside New England from 1700-1950. In what ways did custom and fashion interact with and reflect the technologies and/or limitations of travel on land or water? How might these travel customs and fashions reflect broader socio-economic and/or gendered assumptions at a particular time? What role did they play in the development of services catering to travelers such as inns, taverns, hotels, and, later, motels and motor courts? How were notions of "otherness" reflected in travelers' interactions with the people, places and lifeways they encountered? What can the material culture of travel, including collecting souvenirs, postcards and other novelties tell us about the growth of 19th and 20th century tourism and the celebratory shaping of regional identities?


Papers should be theoretical or analytical in nature rather than descriptive and should be approximately 20 minutes long. Speakers invited to present papers will receive overnight accommodation and are expected to participate fully in the symposium program.


Please submit 250-word proposals and a two-page c.v. via electronic mail to Barbara Mathews and Martha McNamara Proposals should include the title of the paper and the presenter's name. The deadline for submissions is November 9th, 2018.


For further information, please contact Barbara Mathews ( or Martha McNamara (