Anna Holst Blennow

"Topoi, topographies, travellers" - concluding conference of the project "Topos and Topography - Rome as the Guidebook City"

The project "Topos and Topography", financed by RJ, has been active 2013-2016 and based at the Swedish Institute in Rome.The aim of the project has been to define and analyze the guidebook as a genre of its own, separate from, but closely related to, the wider genre of travel literature, and to investigate how this genre has developed over time from the Middle Ages and up to the first half of the 20th century. The geographical point of departure for the project has been the city of Rome, and an aim of the project has also been to show that the guidebook genre is consolidated in Rome during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. This application for funding concerns the concluding conference of the project, "Topoi, Topographies, Travellers", to which twenty Swedish and international scholars and doctoral students have been invited, apart from the seven project members. At the conference, the preliminary results of the project will be presented, and papers from the invited participants will shed light on travelling, travellers and guidebooks from a diachronic and interdisciplinary perspective. The aim of the conference is to further establish and consolidate the research networks that have developed during the project period, in order to secure that the new research field that the project has opened will develop within areas of research such as travel literature, heritage studies and tourism history.

The conference "TOPOI, TOPOGRAPHIES AND TRAVELLERS - travel literature at the crossroads between real and ideal" was the concluding conference for the project "Topos and Topography - Rome as the guidebook city", funded by The Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences 2013-2016. The conference was held at the Swedish Institute in Rome 10-12 November 2016. During the conference, around twenty invited scholars held presentations on travels, travel literature and guidebooks. The program also contained a presentation of the preliminary results of the Topos and Topography project by the project leaders Anna Blennow and Stefano Fogelberg Rota. Two so-called Walking Seminars were arranged, as a continuation of the field studies that the project has performed in Rome during the project period. The theme for the first walk was Pincio and Piazza del Popolo in historical guidebooks, and the other walk took place in the area around Fontana di Trevi, and was concluded with a guided tour of the distinguished Roman artists' academy Accademia di San Luca in palazzo Carpegna.

The conference (except for the Walking Seminars) was open to all, and a great number of external visitors participated during the three days of the conference.

The papers of the conference will be published digitally in Open Access during 2017, in the digital series "Projects and Seminars" published by the Swedish Institute in Rome. Stefano Fogelberg Rota and Anna Blennow will be editors of the publication.

Below follows the detailed program of the conference.

Thursday, 10 November

Welcome & introduction:
Stefano Fogelberg Rota & Anna Blennow

Introductory key note:
Michael Rowlands, University College London, Department of Anthropology
Beverley Butler, University College London, Institute of Archaeology
'The Rome Syndrome' - Tourism and Heritage as Possessional Acts

Session 1. Topoi, or the fictionalization of places

10.30 Simon Malmberg, University of Bergen, Department of Archaeology, History, Cultural Studies and Religion
Rome as Palimpsest: Imaginings and Proto-Guidebooks of Late Antique and Early Medieval Rome

11.00 Coffee break

11.15 Mario Bevilacqua, Università degli Studi, Firenze, Department of Architecture
Texts and maps: constructing cityscapes in Jerome de Lalande's "Voyage d'un françois en Italie", 1769

11.50 Ingrid Rowland University of Notre Dame, School of Architecture, Rome
Viterbo as a Model of Rome

12.25 Unn Falkeid Oslo university, Department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Art and Ideas
Ego vidua. The Topos of the Widowed Rome in Fourteenth-Century Literature.

13.00 Lunch

14.15 Chloe Chard, independent scholar, London
Fatigue and food in Rome and remoter places

14.50 Ragnar Hedlund, Uppsala university, Department of Archaeology and Ancient History
Going east to find the west - some accounts of travels to Constantinople in the late 19th-early 20th centuries.

15.25 Jilke Golbach, University College London, Institute of Archaeology: Heritage Studies
Topoi Revisited: Traces and Erasures of Memory in Artist Sharon Kivland's "Freud on Holiday" and Photographer Evelyn Hofer's "Emerson in Italy".

Friday, 11 November

Session II. Topographies, or the physicality & textuality of travelling

9.30 Conrad Rudolph, University of California, Department of the History of Art
The Tour Guide in the Middle Ages: Guide Culture and the Mediation of Public Art

10.10 Claes Gejrot, Editor-in-Chief, Swedish National Archives
Medieval Swedish Pilgrims in the Charter Material

10.45 Maria H. Oen, Stockholm university, Department of Culture and Aestehetics
Birgitta of Sweden and the Transformative Impact of Gazing at the Holy Land

11.20 Coffee

11.45 John Brewer, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences
Visitors' books, travel guides, and journals: the case of Vesuvius

12.20 Ola Winberg, Uppsala university, Department of History
Swedish noblemen's grand tours in Europe in the 17th century

13.00 Lunch

14.15 Topos and Topography - preliminary project results
Anna Blennow & Stefano Fogelberg Rota

15.15-16.45 Walking seminar Pincio-Piazza del Popolo

Saturday, 12 November

Session III. Travellers, or the transformations of identities

9.00 Paula Henrikson, Uppsala university, Department of Literature
Ripeness is all: Swedish romantic Grand Tour travelogue and the Bildungsroman

9.35 Christina Kullberg, Uppsala university, Department of Modern Languages
Transforming Characters: Languages and Forms in Early Modern French Travel Writing to the Caribbean

10.05 Anders Bengtsson, Stockholm university, Department of Romance studies and Classics
Eric von Roland's French diary

10.40 Coffee

11.00 Jacob Orrje, Stockholm university, Department of Culture and Aesthetics
Patriotic and cosmopolitan patchworks. Travellers, go-betweens and travelling transformations in 18th-century Anglo-Swedish exchange

11.35 Thomas Velle, Department of Literary Studies, Ghent University
Imag(in)ing Rome. Holberg's Comical Presentation of a City and an Oeuvre.

12.10 Ola Svenle, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Architecture School, department of history and theory
Academy traveller identity

12.45 Lunch

14.00 Concluding key note:
Wim Verbaal, Department of Literary Studies: Latin, Ghent University
Narrabo omnia mirabilia tua. Writing down Rome's written miracles.

14.45-18.00 Walking seminar (Fontana di Trevi area) and concluding discussion