CFP: The Railway Journey from the 19th to the 21st Centuries- Romania, September 2019

Toader Popescu's picture


Call for papers

for the international conference

The Railway Journey from the 19th to the 21st Centuries. A Cultural History of Railway Transport and Mobility


Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 12-14 September 2019


Travelling in general, and by railways in particular, is a cultural phenomenon. Newer and newer meanings were added to this kind of journey through time. Trains and the advent of the railway journey (as the 19th century is, first and foremost, the century of railways) were instrumental to the modernisation of travelling: it became faster, cheaper, more comfortable, more democratic, carrying an increasing number of travellers. They have left an indelible mark on modern times, transformed society, and even environment.

The cultural perspective is only one among the many angles from which one can look at the railway journey. Besides the fact that railways, trains and travel have entertained, since the mid-19th century, a spectacular dialogue with literature, art and cinema, their evolution has simultaneously been informed by ideological and political arguments. Railway mobility, along with its social and technological universe, has also become a cultural artefact.

Building upon these considerations, we invite contributions dwelling upon the history of railways and of the railway journey, possibly assuming one or several of the following perspectives:

- imperatives of railway building: politics and ideology – economy – society

- railways and railway travel in literature, arts and film

- technology: from the steam engine to the Maglev

- impact on urban life and housing

- railways and the environment

- railways and war


Working languages: English

Please submit your proposals at

Submissions should include an abstract of no more than 300 words, CV, institutional affiliation.

Deadline for submissions: February 15th, 2019.

Acceptance notifications will be received by applicants no later than March 15th, 2019.

Conference registration fee: 60 euro (including accommodation for 3 nights) / 30 euro (no accommodation); the fee also covers opening cocktail, lunches, conference package.