The aim of the 4th International Conference of the Sylvia Ioannou Foundation, which was ‘held in collaboration with the University of Cyprus (Nicosia 2019), was to encourage the interdisciplinary study of travel literature on the Eastern Mediterranean, with an emphasis on Cyprus, and to promote the use of digital tools and resources in humanities research.
Researchers and scholars approached travel writing as a genre, as evidence of perceptions of the Other, as a means of representing space, as a testimonial of cultural exchange and as a historical source.
The publication Textualising the Experience – Digitalising the Text: Cyprus through TravelLiterature (15th-18th Centuries) features select papers presented at the conference and consists of 15 essays in three parts (‘Zefyros’, ‘Travellers and Travel Literature’, ‘Representations of Space and People’). Using as their basis an innovative scientific methodology for travel literature, which was implemented in the framework of the Zefyros research programme, the scientists who participated in the conference considered issues regarding Cyprus drawn from a corpus of 125 travel texts dating from the 15th to the 18th centuries.
The conference and its papers reveal the varied skein of interest which travel literature continues to hold for us. The potential for new approaches is also revealed, even though four decades of intensive research and writing on that literary genre have already gone by.
Sylvia Ioannou Foundation
The Sylvia Ioannou Foundation was established in 2009 and comprises Sylvia Ioannou’s personal collection of books and maps. The Foundation’s aim is to preserve and disseminate the historical and cultural heritage of Cyprus that exists in printed or manuscript form, through research programmes with Academic Institutions, Scientific publications, International Conferences and Scholarships for postgraduate and doctoral studies on topics related to the island of Cyprus.
The Collection of the Sylvia Ioannou Foundation is constantly being enriched and contains more than 3.000 rare books, maps and manuscripts dating from the 15th to 20th century, concerning Cyprus. The Collection is addressed to scholars, students and researchers, offering access to original travel and historical texts, travel reports and essays, maps, atlases, isolarii, cosmographies and manuscripts.
The content of the Collection is gradually being made accessible via the Foundation’s website: www.sylviaioannoufoundation.org/el/collection/digital-library/
Contact: [email protected]