The nineteenth century witnessed an upsurge of representations of the region across Europe and North America, in media ranging from literary fiction to the illustrated periodical and from visual arts to architecture. The rise of regionalism has often been linked to nationalism and nation-building. As such, the transnational dimensions of regionalism—in its themes as well as publication and circulation—are frequently overlooked. These transnational aspects are the focus of the Dutch Research Council-funded project Redefining the Region at Radboud University, which considers representations of the region in literature and illustrated periodicals during the long nineteenth century. Media representing the region circulated across borders: literary depictions were translated, illustrations of regions were reprinted in different national contexts, and regional culture received attention at several World Exhibitions between 1851 and 1913. This conference therefore seeks to address cultural representations of the region in transnational contexts, which reflected and shaped the way regions were perceived and understood.
We invite contributors to engage with this topic from a variety of disciplines, and across all expressive media. The focus of this conference is specifically on the way regions were represented in cultural media in transnational contexts: the emphasis is therefore not on political or geographic dimensions or definitions of regionalism, but rather on its cultural imagination and conceptualisations.
The period between 1840 and 1940 includes the peaks of regionalist cultural production in various European countries and the United States. It witnessed the rise of new media such as the illustrated press and photography, and improved technologies of print and circulation. It therefore allows for a wide range of perspectives from different historical contexts and disciplines.
Themes that could be explored include, but are not limited to:
- representations of the region in different media
- circulation of regional representations
- cross-border cultural or natural regions
- regionalism in tourism and travel writing
- translating the region (across languages or media)
- archive and memory
- representing (foreign) language and dialect
- environmentalism across borders
- regionalism and anthropology
- theorising the region
- regionalism and religion
- urban and rural regions
- identity and community
- provincial exoticism
- regionalism and minorities
Proposals for papers (max. 300 words) and panels (max. 3 papers) should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org by 6 May 2022. Please include a 100-word biographical note. Notification of acceptance or rejection will be sent by mid-July. A selection of contributions from the conference will be published in an open access peer-reviewed collection (Radboud University Press) in 2024.
During the conference, there will be the opportunity to visit the world-renowned Kröller-Müller Museum, which is located in the beautiful Hoge Veluwe national park and boasts the world’s second-largest collection of paintings by Vincent van Gogh.
Confirmed keynote speakers
- Prof June Howard (University of Michigan)
- Dr Stephanie C. Palmer (Nottingham Trent University)
- Prof Noel Salazar (KU Leuven)
- Dr Eric Storm (Leiden University)
The conference is organised by members of the Dutch Research Council-funded VICI project Redefining the Region: The Transnational Dimensions of Local Colour (VI.C.181.026).This project is based at RICH, the Radboud Institute for Culture and History, in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. For more information about the project, see our website: https://www.ru.nl/rich/our-research/research-groups/transnational-europe/current-projects/projects/project-redefining-region/.
Professor Marguérite Corporaal
Dr Giulia Bruna
Dr Chris Cusack
Sophie van Os MA
Anneloek Scholten MA