Narrative Knowing in Heritage and Travel Online Conference

Image: view of 9 Quai Saint-Michel, Paris 5. looking south across Seine from Ile de la Cité. Credit: Dr Charlie Mansfield

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Writers such as WG Sebald and Sven Lindqvist employed literary travel writing to emotionally and psychologically translate their fieldwork experiences into their writings about place, while Walter Benjamin combined ideas of narrative knowing with practices that offer public engagement and impact for his ideas. This conference explores how methods of contemporary literary travel writing can be brought into the work of academic researchers, writers and professionals in the fields of cultural heritage interpretation.

Proposals for papers are invited from researchers and from heritage and tourism practitioners that explore narrative non-fiction as a literary form or as professional practice for writing about place. Established academics and postgraduate or doctoral researchers are encouraged to submit their proposals. Further, pedagogic approaches to teaching interpretative and writing practices for these fields are also encouraged.

We are delighted to announce our Keynote speaker, literary travel writer and pyschogeographer Gareth E Rees, author of Unofficial Britain: Journeys through Unexpected Places (2020), Carpark Life (2019) and The Marshland: Dreams and Nightmares on the Edge of London (2013).

We expect to publish an edited collection of presented papers. 


The deadline for proposals is midnight on Tuesday 15 December 2020.

Proposals must include the title of the paper, author’s name, email and affiliation. Please include a description of the paper in up to 300 words plus two or three indicative bibliographic references.

Please email proposals to: Dr Charlie Mansfield, Co-Director, Cornerstone Heritage research centre, University of Plymouth. Email

In addition, the conference plans to display posters digitally, in A0-size, single-slide landscape format in PowerPoint, for delegates to download and view offline. Please propose these by email in a Word document with the title of the poster, name, email and affiliation and brief description of the work plus two indicative bibliographic references.

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