Submit an Abstract

Call for Papers

Offers of papers are beginning to arrive and indicate that we will be able to offer an
interesting and stimulating programme. Now is the time to send in your ideas, titles and
abstracts — ideally by 15th March to the conference team at:


Please send an abstract of not more than 250 words on or before the 31st May 2019 for consideration by the Conference Committee. Please give your name, email address, proposed title, and a short abstract. As a rough guideline, presentations will be for 20 minutes, with an additional five minutes for discussion. Participants will be informed about the acceptance of their paper in June 2019.

Suggested Topics

As usual, we welcome papers from a wide range of disciplines and interests connected with travel to and from the Near and Middle East. We would love to hear from anyone who might be interested in contributing a talk about Orientalist Art, on Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (who even lived near York at one time); on travel in classical times and during the Byzantine Empire; on Crusader travellers; on travel from India and the Far East to or throughout the Middle East and Egypt; on pilgrimages and pilgrims as travellers.

Do any of you have a paper to offer about exploring archaeology and/or ancient monuments through travel accounts? How about a session on botanical-travellers, on those to or from Ottoman lands? It would be interesting to run a session on fictional travellers in the region (John Mandeville, Vathek and the like), on different approaches to reading and interpreting travelogues … and more.

For the session at the railway museum, we welcome papers on steam and rail travel in Egypt, Sudan, and the Middle East including Iran and North Africa.

Focus Sessions & Round-Table Discussions

The Committee is happy to consider possible Focus Session proposals for discussions to include a maximum of four papers. We also welcome ideas for more informal Round-Table Discussions with a clear focus, with the explicit purpose to promote discussion on specific issues or work currently in progress, the current state of scholarship, issues involved in the application of new approaches and models, etc. If you would like to propose a Focus Session or a Round-Table Session, please send us a summary of up to 200 words and the name of the person coordinating the session.


Sometimes researchers are not yet in a position to present a full paper but may want participants to hear all about their project(s), so a poster is an excellent and interesting way to present your ideas. The Committee is happy to receive submissions for the presentation of research posters (anything from A1 to A4). The deadline for the submission of poster abstracts is 31st May 2019. For further information please contact us on:

ASTENE and its connections with York

Morris Bierbrier and other ASTENE members have discovered that there are several travellers from Yorkshire who travelled to Egypt. These include:

1. George Sandys (1578–1644), son of the Archbishop of York. He was born in Bishopthorpe Palace, the residence of the current Bishop of York. Visited Egypt and explored the pyramids as well as travelling throughout the Ottoman Empire.

george sandys

2. Robert James Gordon (1786–1823). Born Bantry, Yorks. Naval officer. Explored Egypt and the Sudan.

after Unknown artist,print,mid 19th century

4. William Arnold Stewart (1882–1953) who taught arts and crafts in Egypt (

william arnold stuart

5. William Osburn (1793-1875). Merchant, Egyptologist, writer from Leeds who wrote on Egyptian subjects (

6. indicates connections with
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu but it is now a premium hotel so probably won’t have much left from the 18th century to attract ASTENE interest!

lady montagu

7. John B. Sawrey Morritt (1772–1843) of Rokeby Hall in Yorkshire, and two companions, crossed the Carpathians from Transylvania into Wallachia in carriages drawn by oxen. He travelled in the Ottoman Empire in 1794.

John Bacon Sawrey Morritt

8. Sir Edward Barton (c.1562–1598) was from Yorkshire; he worked in Constantinople for the Levant Company from 1578 and was Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire from 1588 to 1598, appointed by Queen Elizabeth I of England.

9. In Ripley Castle, Yorkshire is a painting of Constantinople by the Dutch artist Jan van der Steen, who travelled with a group of Englishmen to Aleppo in 1780 after ten years working at the Swedish Embassy in Constantinople and then on to India; he died in Bengal in 1782.

10. Sir Mark Sykes (of Sykes-Picot Agreement fame) (1879–1919) was brought up in Sledmere House. Most winters he travelled with his father Sir Tatton Sykes (1826–1913) around the Ottoman Empire.

Sir Mark Sykes (of Sykes-Picot Agreement fame) (1879–1919)

11. When Agatha Christie went missing for 11 days in 1926, claiming amnesia, she was found in a hotel in Yorkshire!


We have discovered that there are Turkish Baths at Harrogate, opened in 1897 when the Yorkshire spa was very popular!

No doubt ASTENE members can discover more connections with York and Yorkshire. Please let us know via

Please submit abstracts and any enquiries about the forthcoming conference to Janet Starkey and the team at:



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