© Firenze, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale, Conv. Soppr. C.VII.1170, fol. 1r.

Marco Polo and the European Image of Asia

November 14–16, 2024
University of Innsbruck, Austria

Marco Polo’s narrative account of Asia in his Il Milione is one of the first and major sources to shape the European image of Asia for centuries to come. The Polo universe is vast, encompassing numerous vernacular and Latin versions of the account, which differ through their emphasis of specific aspects. This conference, commemorating the 700th anniversary of Marco Polo’s death in 2024, explores some of the different descriptions, projections, and phantasies of Asia in the light of Marco Polo’s Il Milione and beyond.

Invited speakers

  • Alvise Andreose (Università degli Studi di Udine, Italy)
  • Eugenio Burgio (Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, Italy)
  • Markus Cruse (Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, USA)
  • Christine Gadrat-Ouerfelli (CNRS, LA3M – MMSH, Aix-en-Provence, France)
  • Sharon Kinoshita (University of California, Santa Cruz, California, USA)
  • Andrea Palandri (Dublin City University, Ireland)
  • Samuela Simion (Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, Italy)
  • Hans Ulrich Vogel (Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany)

Call for papers

Possible contributions include precursors of or influences on Marco Polo’s narrative as well as transformations of the different Polo versions and their legacies. The scope of the conference bridges literary, linguistic, philological, historical, art-historical, religious, economic, sociological, and political approaches—to mention only the most obvious ones. Contributors are invited to address novel aspects within the larger context of Marco Polo’s Il Milione, both from a diachronic as well as a synchronic perspective. General contributions on the European image of Asia, both past and present, are also welcome.

Please send the title and abstract (about 250 words) of your conference paper together with your contact details to marco-polo-2024@uibk.ac.at. The deadline for submission is July 14, 2024.

The conference language is English.

All sessions of the conference will take place in the historic rooms of the Palais Claudiana in the old town of Innsbruck (Herzog-Friedrich-Straße 3).

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