ALPT 2023 : Albania in Post-Communist Travel Writing (1990 - )
Call For Papers
CALL FOR PAPERS
ALBANIA IN POST-COMMUNIST TRAVEL WRITING (1990 - )
Organized by the Department of Foreign Languages and the Department of Albanian Language and Literature, Faculty of Humanities and Law, University of Vlora “Ismail Qemali” in the framework of the project “Albania in post-communist travel writing (1990-)” funded by NASRI
30 June 2023, Vlora, Albania
Deadline for abstract submission: 30 April 2023
Deadline for full paper submission: 20 May 2023
The recent developments and advances in communication and information technology, the opening up of Albania for more than three decades now, the increased number of visitors to the country each year, and the eventual development of tourism, have not only accelerated the pace of communication and information, but have also diversified the forms and ways of expression in art, literature, and education, and have also made the interest in Albania to acquire various kinds of approaches, mainly that of the curiosity of the visitor. In this context, we come across publications in foreign languages, books by professional authors or writings by amateur enthusiasts who recount their experiences in Albania and encounters with the local culture and people. One often finds adventurous travellers on the Internet who publish stories, articles, videos, and information about Albania on their blogs/vlogs.
This variety of written material, increasingly produced and published online, needs to be studied and approached from contemporary critical perspectives. The critical barrenness that exists in the literary and cultural studies of post-communist Albanian literature and culture on the whole, more specifically, of travel writing, that is, the literature written about Albania and Albanians by various foreign travellers or visitors after the 1990s, is not only substantive or quantitative but especially methodological. Researchers and scholars interested in this area often encounter difficulty in approaching and reading these writings from the point of view of literary and cultural theory. What would be the most appropriate methodological instruments to examine these literary products written about Albania and Albanians? In a diverse and active intercultural context, panoramic readings and analyses of these writings do not suffice to fully comprehend and academically unravel these writings.
More than three decades since the fall of communism, the development of Albanian society, culture and the country as a whole can be seen as defined by events, phenomena and trends characterizing each decade. This historical and cultural evolution is more interestingly observed in the writings and accounts of visitors to Albania in different periods/decades of this time span. The main dichotomy or relationship prevailing in these narratives/writings is undoubtedly foreign traveller/visitor/guest - local host, a relationship that contrasts the foreign culture/s with the Albanian one. This cultural meeting highlights many intercultural elements worth analyzing. Questions arise: What methodology would be used to analyze these meetings? If these encounters were simply defined as happening between self and the other, what literary theoretical approach would make room for the interpretation of these encounters: the psychoanalytic or the postcolonial? It seems that both the first and the second are not sufficiently adequate. Is Albania, a geographically European country, but politically outside the European Union, aspiring to be a part of it one day, the other in the eyes of the western visitor? How has this (inter)cultural relationship evolved in these three decades? How can all this diverse narrative corpus be read? What theoretical approach best suits the study of this corpus? Should the various forms of the travelogue, the writings of bloggers and the works of vloggers be included in this corpus?
In this international conference, we invite researchers, at home and abroad, to share and challenge together thoughts and views regarding this written corpus produced after the 90s.
Some of the proposed topics for this conference include:
- Critical-literary instruments to study travel writing;
- The view of Albania "under Western eyes";
- Globalization in Albania;
- Political, historical and social problems and their representation in travel writing;
- Albania: mild or wild?
- Various forms of writings and travelogues about Albania, after the 90s, in foreign languages, in print, electronic and online formats;
- Debunking Albanian myths;
- Fantasy versus reality in Albania;
- Aspects of nationality in Albanian-speaking countries and their expressions in travel writing;
- Albanian exoticism;
- Encounters between the so-called Western cultures and Albanian culture;
- Encounters between Albanians who live in different countries and in the diaspora;
- Encounters, linguistic and translated;
- Commodification of culture in travel writing;
- Nature, food, traditions and historical, cultural and natural heritage in the travel writings,
Papers are welcome from but are not limited to:
- Literary studies;
- Literary and cultural theory;
- World literature;
- Translational studies;
- Cultural studies;
- Intercultural communication;
- Communication studies;
- Media studies;
- Discourse analysis
Please send your abstracts (about 250 words) for papers (20 min) as an MS word attachment to the following email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 20 April 2023. Abstracts should include:
title of paper
name and affiliation
The conference languages are Albanian, English, Italian. Papers presented at the conference will be published in the conference volume.