CONFERENCE 'The Travelling Self: Tourism and Life-Writing in Eighteenth-Century Europe'

Convened by Catriona Seth (All Souls College, Oxford) & Giovanni Iamartino (Università degli Studi di Milano Statale)

The Travelling Self: Tourism and Life-Writing in Eighteenth-Century Europe

Le Moi en voyage : Tourisme et Écriture de soi dans l’Europe du XVIIIe Siècle



A Wall in Naples (1782). Oil on paper, 11.4 × 16 cm. National Gallery, London


Thursday 18 –1.30-6.00pm – Maison Française d’Oxford

1.30-2.00 – Conference registration and welcome address

2.00-3.40 – Session 1: Visiting England / En visite en Angleterre

                        Chair: Catriona Seth (Oxford)

  • Leena Eilittä (Helsinki), The self in 18th-century British travelogues from the north
  • Francesca Pagani (Bergamo), « Ma tournée d’Angleterre ». La comtesse d’Albany et ses notes de voyage
  • Damiano Bardelli (Lausanne), Sous l’aile de Gibbon. Le séjour anglais du jeune vaudois Wilhelm de Charrière de Sévery
  • Erica Vianello (Augsburg / Venice), Les Lettres sur l’Angleterre, la Hollande et l’Italie d’Anne-Marie du Boccage : entre écriture de soi et représentations sociales

3.40-4.10 – Break

4.10-5.40 – Session 2: Paradigms / Paradigmes

                        Chair: Alba Graziano (Viterbo)

  • Richard Ansell (London), Servants’ travel journals as life-writing
  • Elisabetta Lonati (Eastern Piedmont), “The Author cannot help feeling himself under an obligation of apologising for the frequent egotisms”:  the travelling self in medical geography
  • Laura Pinnavaia (Milan), Analysing 18th-century travelogues published in England: an insight into the travelling selves
  • Agnes Dobek (Budapest), Journey to Italy: Identity-forming experiences described in the letters of Hungarian historian Joseph Koller


Friday 19 – 9.00am-5.00pm – Maison Française d’Oxford

9-10.30 – Session 3: Italy and the arts / L’Italie et les arts

                        Chair: Anne-Sophie Gabillas (Maison Française d’Oxford)

  • Mathilde Vallieres (Paris / Montréal), « [U]n pays entièrement nouveau pour moi » : les Voyages de Montesquieu, récit d’une éducation artistique?
  • Elania Pieragostini (Independent), The life of an artist in Rome: The Memoirs by Thomas Jones (1742-1803)
  • Elisa Debenedetti (Rome), Winckelmann et Mengs à Villa Albani à partir des dessins Torlonia
  • Laura Giuliano (Independent Scholar), “I expose myself to the censure of the first connoisseurs”. Lady Anna Miller and her personal perception of Italian Art

10.30-11 – Break

11-12.30 – Session 4: Fictions and travels / Fictions et voyages

                        Chair: Francesca Pagani (Bergamo)

  • Odile Richard (Limoges), Grands-pères, pères et impairs : Le voyage à Berlin du petit-fils de Diderot (1800-1801). Un hommage véritable au célèbre auteur du Voyage à Bourbonne et à Langres (1770)?
  • Maria Fiorella Suozzo (Salerno), “Shall I tell you my dreams?”: William Beckford’s crafted persona in his Grand Tour travelogue Dreams, Waking Thoughts and Incidents
  • Souad Bouhouch (Gafsa), Des Carnets de voyages à Corinne ou l’Italie de Germaine de Staël: un “Moi” en voyage entre l’ambivalence et l’enthousiasme créateur
  • Andrea Gatti (Bologna), Travelogues and fictional self. Joseph Addison’s Remarks on several parts of Italy

12.30-1.30 – Lunch

1.30-3 – Session 5: Women on tour / Des touristes femmes

                        Chair: Caroline Warman (Jesus College, University of Oxford)

  • Bella Takushinova (Turin), Through the female gaze. Russian women travellers of the Grand Tour in late 18th-century Italy
  • Cinzia Recca (Catania), A female Grand Tour in Sicily: Amazement and magnificence in the travelling accounts of of Lady Ellis Cornelia Knight (1799-1800)
  • Tiziana Ingravallo (Foggia), Women’s mobility in the 1790s: Helen Maria Williams and Mary Morgan
  • Miriam Al Jamil (Independent Scholar), A vicar’s daughter in post-Napoleonic Europe

3-3.30 – Break

3.30-5 – Session 6: The self and others / Soi et les autres

                        Chair: Laura Pinnavia (to be confirmed)

  • Gianni De Nittis (Modena and Reggio), Imagination and the Self. Reflections on identity and otherness in Goethe’s Italian Journey
  • Thomas Leonard-Roy (Sassari), Hating abroad: Lady Mary Wortley Montagu and Byron in Italy
  • Daniele Niedda (Rome), The elusive Self of William Beckford in Italy
  • Ester Giachetti (Venice), Pierre-Jean Mariette in Italy: letter to his father


Saturday 20 – 9.30-12.00pm – Wharton Room, All Souls College, Oxford

09.30-11 – Session 7: Unusual guides / Des guides inhabituels

Chair: Giovanni Iamartino (Milan)

  1. Rhys Kaminski-Jones (Lampeter), India as seen from Flintshire: Thomas Pennant’s ‘View of Hindoostan’
  2. Antoine Chatelain (Lyon), Entre écrit du for privé et guide impersonnel : le journal de voyage en Italie de l’abbé Gougenot
  3. Marilina Gianico (Independent), Un Jésuite à Rome : le voyage en Italie dans l’Itinéraire de l’abbé François-Xavier de Feller
  4. Thomas Archambaud (Glasgow), A global Ancien régime? The travels of Sir John Macpherson and Abu Taleb Khan in revolutionary Europe, 1789-1803

11-11.30 – Coffee Break and departure of speakers