Call for papers: Touring Belgium. A nation’s patrimony in print, ca. 1795-1914.

NOVEMBER 23, 2018

Hugo_En Voyage_Tome_II_p175We invite contributions for a study day intending to examine how and why, over the course of the long 19th century, a variety of actors ranging from tourists and writers to artists and historians, explored the nascent architectural and artistic patrimony of Belgium. The very notion of patrimony was established in this period, promoted by a diverse set of forces: emerging tourism; the endeavours of learned societies; the imagination of literary authors; official heritage policies, and the formation of new nations (the Austrian Netherlands were annexed in 1795 to the French Republic, and became part of the (United) Kingdom of the Netherlands in 1815, until in 1830 an independent Belgian state was declared). We are particularly interested in how different printed media – from travel guides and travel literature to albums and illustrated newspapers – contributed to inventorying, debating, broadcasting, promoting, and ultimately constructing this patrimony in a national and international context, in word and image. How did the printed mediation of a nascent architectural and artistic patrimony affect the way historical artefacts were preserved, transformed, collected, viewed and experienced? How was the notion of ‘Belgium’ operationalised in print, and how was its art and architecture reflected on by outsiders (e.g. the numerous French authors visiting Belgium in the 19th century, Hugo and Baudelaire amongst them) and insiders respectively?

We invite 500 word proposals for 25 minute presentations at a study day jointly organized by the Department of Architecture and Urban Planning of Ghent University and the Chair of the History and Theory of Architecture of the ETH Zürich, and sponsored by Printing the Past. Architecture, Print Culture, and Uses of the Past in Modern Europe (PriArc), an international, multidisciplinary research project funded by the Humanities in the European Research Area Program (HERA).


Proposals should be sent to and by June 15th, 2018. Notification of acceptance will follow by June 25th.


Organizing committee:
prof. Maarten Delbeke (ETH), prof. Maarten Liefooghe (UGent), Nikolaos Magouliotis (ETH), Ben Vandenput (UGent), dr. Jan Vandersmissen (UGent)


Originally posted May 10, 2018. Latest revision May 10, 2018.

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