Apr 24 2017 Posted: 12:39 IST

 The lecture will be delivered by Professor Wendy Bracewell from University College London

NUI Galway will host a public lecture entitled ‘Travellers, travellees, and travelling texts: Eastern Europe and the Republic of Letters’. The lecture, which will be delivered by Professor Wendy Bracewell of the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London, will take place on Thursday, 4May at 6.30pm in the Dillon Lecture Theatre, Arts Science Building.

While many eastern European countries now form part of the EU and many Eastern Europeans now live in Galway, not so long ago, Eastern Europe was seen as very far removed from Western Europe. The notion of a deep cultural and political division between eastern and Western Europe goes back to the eighteenth century. Professor Bracewell shows that eastern Europeans themselves vigorously rejected the idea that they were in any way different or inferior to western Europeans. She suggests that the depictions of Eastern Europe and the reactions to them can teach us much about what the notions of ‘eastern’ and ‘western’ Europe mean.  

A renowned historian of travel, Professor Bracewell makes a virtue of finding the humour in history. She published an anthology, Where to Go in Europe, which featured amusing accounts of European travellers grappling with foreign toilet facilities. Professor Bracewell also traced the fantastic trope of women throwing their long, pendulous breasts over their shoulders to feed their children in travel accounts from Tasmania to Croatia. Her book on banditry in the sixteenth-century Adriatic has been recommended to modern-day travellers by the Rough Guide to Croatia.

The lecture marks the beginning of a conference entitled ‘Journeys’, to be held at the University’s Moore Institute from 4-6 May. The conference is organised by NUI Galway’s Dr Róisín Healy on behalf of the Irish Association for Russian, Central and East European Studies.

Dr Healy said: “The University is especially pleased to host the conference this year.  The centenary of the Russian Revolution, sparked by that most famous of journeys, Lenin’s train journey from Switzerland to the Finland Station in Petrograd.”

 For further information please visit www.iarcees.org/upcoming.php or email helena.condon@nuigalway.ie for registration details.

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