Keynote speakers

It is a huge pleasure to announce the  two plenary speakers of Borders and Crossings 2017.

The first plenary speaker will be Wendy Bracewell, Professor of South-East European History at University College London, and the director of the UCL Mellon postdoctoral programme.

Wendy is one of the most prolific scholars in the field of travel studies, moving freely between the early modern, modern and contemporary periods, and between East and West. Her ‘East Looks West’ research project and the subsequent publication were instrumental in offering new perspectives on various notions such as center and periphery, the role of travels in nation formation, and cultural difference. More recently, she is working on travel polemics – the answers by the locals (the ‘travelees’ as they are sometimes called) to foreign travelogues.

Wendy’s plenary – the closing talk of the conference – will be: ”Answering back, East & West: travellers & travellees in the 18th century”.

The second plenary speaker, flying proudly the Aberystwyth flag, will be Mary-Ann Constantine, Senior Research Fellow at the National University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies.

Mary-Ann is a specialist of Romantic-era Welsh literature, both in Welsh and in English, and of the interactions between ‘high’ and ‘low’ forms of literature. She has worked on a succession of research projects, most of them in connection with some form of travel. Thus, the ‘Wales and the French Revolution’ AHRC-funded project led to the publication of the travels into revolutionary France and America of a Dissenting minister. Currently, she is Principal Investigator on the project ‘Curious Travellers: Thomas Pennant and the Welsh and Scottish Tour‘, gathering the writings of this important traveller, and investigating his impact on travelling practices. She is also the author of two collections of essays and of a novel.

Mary-Ann’s plenary, on Monday evening at the Old College, will be: ‘Shipwrecked Monkeys: Coasts, Trade and Travel in Romantic-era Wales’.