Travelling—Writing—Tasmania - two day symposium

Thu, 06/02/2020 - 9:00am - Fri, 07/02/2020 - 6:00pm
University of Tasmania

Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery, Launceston

A two-day symposium to  explore Tasmanian travel writing and journeys in Tasmanian literature.
Keynote and Guest Speakers:
Prof Tim Youngs, Director of Nottingham Trent University's Centre for Travel Writing Studies; AProf Richard White, from the University of Sydney; and internationally renowned author Robert Dessaix.

So often figured  as one of the ends of the world, Tasmania has inspired diverse responses from  travellers—real as well as fictional—who have landed on its shores and explored  its terrains over the last two and half centuries. A frequent subject of  European explorer and settler narratives of the eighteenth and nineteenth  centuries, and a popular setting for colonial romances, Tasmania retains a  special place in the literary imaginary as much as in the itinerary of domestic  and international travellers. An island, Tasmania is both of and set apart from  Australia. More often than not little known by mainlanders, its fate has often been dictated by forces beyond the national borders. Distance and isolation,  and a rich and at times violent history, have inspired travellers and writers  to frame their reactions to Tasmania through the lenses of the marvelous, the  grotesque, the sublime, and the picaresque. Shadowing these representations of  the island there is more often than not a deep ambivalence about the moral  foundations of the European society on the island. Reading Tasmanian travel  writing and the fictional journeys of Tasmanian literature provides insights  into a set of regional, national and transnational concerns about colonialism  and the challenges of a postcolonizing culture.
This symposium  explores Tasmanian travel writing and the journeys of Tasmanian literature. It  brings together scholars in travel writing studies, colonial and postcolonial  literary and historical studies, as well as writers of fiction and travel, to  consider the rich heritage of Tasmanian journeys.