Traveling Bodies - Reisende Körper

International Conference: 05/06 July 2018 


 Picture Credits: Tattoo Loft, Lippstadt, Tattooist: Sven Knirlberger 


On the Agenda: 

This conference focused specifically on what traveling does to the body when travelers encounter the new, the strange and unfamiliar, even the 'exotic.' Keynote speakers were Zoe Kinsley and Tim Youngs. The conference was jointly organized by the departments of English and German Studies, Nicole Maruo-Schröder, Sarah Schäfer-Althaus and Uta Schaffers.



05/06 July 2018



56070 Koblenz
Universitätsstraße 1
University of Koblenz-Landau
Campus Koblenz


University of Koblenz-Landau
Department of English
Prof. Dr. Nicole Maruo-Schröder
Dr. Sarah Schäfer-Althaus


University of Koblenz-Landau
Department of German
Prof. Dr. Uta Schaffers

Official Conference Poster:

View/download poster here  




In contemporary research, tourists, travelers, vagabonds, and the like are frequently presented as travelling characters, who, while being on the road, resonate with and negotiate culturally specific individual and collective discourses of encountering and constructing the foreign and 'the other' (including unknown spaces/ ‘Terra Incognita”). However, in contrast to (visual) ethnology, literary and cultural studies approaches to factual and fictional forms of 'traveling texts' have so far neglected the body as a medium of travel, despite the fact that travelers are always also "traveling bodies” since the body is a central aspect of each travel experience. Following a panel offered at the 3rd annual conference of the Kulturwissenschaftliche Gesellschaft in Gent, Belgium ("Bodies in Motion"), this interdisciplinary conference focuses on traveling as an embodied cultural practice, arguing that in particular the experience of the sensual body ("Leib") can be seen as a medium for the communication and negotiation of social norms and values. Hence, individual papers will analyze body discourses as they become visible in textual, visual, and audiovisual as well as in performative negotiations, representations and performances of traveling. In addition, this conference aims at discussing practices of mobility and perception, images and metaphors of traveling bodies (e.g. gendering space in the context of orientalism and colonialism), the performance of 'the body' (own vs. other) as well as culturally specific body practices and how they challenge traditional notions about embodiment. Of special significance are representations of the obstinate or 'ill-functioning' body (e.g. the 'resistant' body, the power of the body over mind, bodily functions and control, discourses on health and hygiene), and limits and delimitations of body experience while traveling (e.g. norms and regulations, spatial experiences, thresholds, and borders; (technological) body enhancement while abroad/ on the road).

Download full version as PDF 



Keynote speakers:

Tim Youngs (Nottingham Trent University, UK)

Zoe Kinsley (Liverpool Hope University, UK)


Panel 1: “Consuming Bodies”

Panel 2: “Other(ed) Bodies”

Panel 3: “Motherhood and Travel”

There will also be a poetry reading on Friday, 5pm!


Conference opening: July 5, 2018, 4.30 pm

End of Conference: July 6, 2018, 5.30 pm


Download the program as pdf.