CFP: Two-way Tickets: Travel, Home and War

University of Oxford, 20 June 2017

Deadline for abstracts: Monday 24th April

War necessitates travel: soldiers on active duty are ‘mobilised’, and so in a different sense are the people that war has displaced or made homeless. From the peripli of classical antiquity to the Grand Tour, from ethnographic and imperialist expeditions to postcolonial travel, the dialectic of home and abroad, foreign and native, is typically scrutinised through the experience of mobility, and further tested by the question of the return home. Not everybody has a ‘two-way ticket’ when it comes to war, but the industry around war tourism might indicate what war-related travel brings home, and its involvement in the construction of national and group identities.

This interdisciplinary conference asks how the concept of home is reassessed through travel generated by war. It invites debate around the ways travel precipitates or disrupts the construction of identity, against the backdrop of war. How do travelogues and literary fiction, fine art and film, museums and battlegrounds stage the encounter between home and the unheimlich? The conference welcomes papers from across all periods and fields, which might include literary studies, art history, film, gender, history, anthropology, psychology and media studies.

Topics might include:

  • War tourism and national identity
  • War, travel, and the unheimlich
  • Dark tourism
  • The experience of exile; refugees of war
  • Nostos, and the return home from war
  • Travel, home, war, and gender
  • Imperialist travel; journeys and geopolitics
  • Travel on the home front
  • Travel and postwar reconstruction
  • Transport technology and war
  • War reportage
  • War propaganda and military recruitment
  • ‘Militourism’
  • Tourism and terrorism

Proposals, which should include a title, 300 word abstract, and short biography, for a 20-minute paper, should be emailed to by the deadline of Monday 24th April.

Annabel Williams (University of Oxford) Clare Broome Saunders (University of Oxford)