Seeing the World: Travel, Text, Image - International conference 27-28 September 2013

Moore Institute seminar room, Applied Optics seminar room, Arts Humanities and Social Science seminar room.

Date & Time
27th September, 2013 @ 09:00:00

Seeing the world: Travel, text, image

Authors of travel narratives attempting to convey in words their discoveries and observations increasingly turned to images to support their text. In this they were encouraged by publishers and the public, developing in time a dedicated art industry and new book forms. This conference focuses attention on the various uses of graphic art in topographical and ethnographical writing by travellers from the Early Modern period to the present, and the relationship between text and image.

The topics proposed by the participants, from Italy, Switzerland, America, France, Greece and Ireland, range from the iconography of specific areas, such as Switzerland, the Eastern Mediterranean, the Western Mediterranean, Ireland, to the work of particular individuals, notably Jonathan Fisher, Luttrell Wynne, Beranger and Bigari in Ireland and W.H.J. Browne in the Arctic. Among the areas covered are the National Library of Ireland’s resources for research on travel, the implications of evolving media for both text and image, including their online presence. Present-day topographical writing and the images it engenders are the focus of a session devoted to Tim Robinson’s Connemara trilogy.

‘Texts, Contexts, Cultures’ is funded by the Higher Education Authority, under PRTLI4 ( This conference is supported by generous funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (

Friday 27 September

Optics seminar room (beside Moore Institute)

9.15 Registration and Welcome

9.30 Session 1: Irish Itineraries 1

Chair: Lillis Ó Laoire (NUI Galway)

Gerard Long (National Library of Ireland)
‘Travel accounts in the collections of the National Library of Ireland’

Nessa Cronin (NUI, Galway)
‘”New roads, new seats, new plantations”: The road as contact zone in late eighteenth-century Ireland’

10.45 Coffee and tea break

11.15 Session 2: Constructing images: the Levant, the Alps

Chair: Sylvie Lannegrand (NUI, Galway)

Irini Apostolou (University of Athens)
‘Le voyage en images au Levant: échanges et rivalités franco-britanniques au XVIIIe siècle’

Claude Reichler (Université de Lausanne)
Imaging the Alps: travel books and the history of viewing’

12.30 Lunch

14.00 Coach to Claregalway

Claregalway Castle

14.45 Session 3: Developing the picturesque

Chair: Phil Dine (NUI, Galway)

Finola O’Kane (University College Dublin)

‘Making Ireland picturesque: Jonathan Fisher's Tour of Killarney'

Gabor Gelléri (Aberystwyth University)

‘An unknown creator of picturesque Ireland: Luttrell Wynne, the Gentleman of Oxford’

16.00 Coffee and tea break

16.30 Session 4: Irish itineraries 2

Chair: John Waddell (NUI, Galway)

Peter Harbison (Royal Irish Academy)

Beranger and Bigari’s tour of Connacht in 1779’ (Plenary)

17.30 Reception (Claregalway Castle)

Saturday 28 September

Moore Institute seminar room

9.15 Session 5: Changing media

Chair: Jane Conroy

Eavan Ó Dochartaigh (NUI, Galway)

’”Faithful Delineations: The Travels and Images of W.H.J. Browne”’

Tania Manca (Università di Cagliari)

‘The transition from engraving to photograph: the Western Mediterranean and Africa’

Marina Ansaldo (University College Dublin)

‘The “Ireland Illustrated” online database’

11.15 Coffee and tea break

11.45 Session 6: Beyond the picturesque

Chair: Nessa Cronin (NUI, Galway)

John Elder (Middlebury College, Vermont)

Solas/Dolas and Tim Robinson's Escape from the Picturesque’

Nicolas Fève (St Patrick’s College, Dublin)

‘Travelling light: a photographic journey through Robinson’s Connemara’

13.15 Lunch