Call for Papers: The Journey Around the World Through Images


6-7th November 2020

The Journey Around the World Through Images: From the 19th Century to the Contemporary Age

To view or download the Call for Papers in PDF, click here

In 2018, titled Dans la peau de Thomas Pesquet, the first ever VR film shoot in space was released, giving the opportunity to the viewer to fully experience the journey of the French astronaut Thomas Pesquet aboard the International Space Station. We have come a long way since the theme of the journey around the world deeply influenced the late 19th century visual cultures of photography and cinema, founding its best expression in stereoscopy and in its derived aesthetics. More than a century later, the three-dimensional illusion returned in the new communication and navigation technologies, that allow virtual immersions in real or simulated places. In a world that is more interconnected than ever before, especially after the outbreak of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic and the enforcing of quarantine measures on a planetary scale, virtual travelling has become more than just a popular trend. It is again, just like in the 19th century, an outlet to pent-up wanderlust. Back then, faraway places were out of reach because of technological limits; today, people are invited to stay home and experience virtual travels because of the health measures that curtail international journeys.

The simulated journey has become an object of growing scrutiny in Academia; in light of the current situation, it deserves an even increased attention. Its impact, especially on our representations of other cultures or Humanity itself, cannot be underestimated.

The aim of this interdisciplinary workshop is to offer a historical and aesthetic frame to the contemporary panorama of the simulated journey, in the fields of photography, cinema and animation, 3D shows, augmented reality, and virtual reality. This workshop asks participants to also consider the cultural implications of the theme of the simulated journey.

  • Historical evolution of representing journeys around the world;
  • Aesthetics of visual depictions of journeys around the world;
  • Journey around the world in stereoscopy;
  • Travel photography;
  • Travel documentaries;
  • Representations of travel in visual culture, especially cinema and photography;
  • 3D shows, augmented reality and virtual reality as simulated journeys;
  • Artists and artworks that depicted around-the-world travels;
  • Photobooks about journeys around the world

Indicative Bibliography about this topic could include:
_Bayman, Louis, and Pinazza, Natália (eds) (2018), Journeys on Screen: Theory, Ethics, Aesthetics. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
_Chaplin, Joyce E. (2012), Round About the Earth: Circumnavigation from Magellan to Orbit. New York: Simon and Schuster Paperbacks.
_Levine, Barbara, and Kirsten M. Jensen (2007), The Grand Tour in Photo Albums. New York: Princeton Architectural Press.
_Ruoff, Jeffrey (ed.) (2006), Virtual Voyages: Cinema and Travel. Durham, NC and London: Duke University Press.
_Osborne, Peter (2000), Travelling Light: Photography, Travel and Visual Culture. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

We encourage submissions characterized by interdisciplinary approaches and based on frameworks coming from all disciplines of humanities and social sciences. This workshop is
open to PhD students and academics at any stage of their career.

For further details of the workshop, please visit:

For any further information, you can contact us at:


Because of the COVID-19 emergency, the Workshop will be an exclusively online event, managed via the videoconferencing software Zoom. The University of Padova will host all the Workshop sessions through its Zoom account; each session will be open to up to 300 participants. Details about how to download the software and join the Workshop sessions will be provided in due course.


Submissions with an abstract of no more than 300 words, a short biography and up to 10 keywords should be sent to: by 22 September, 2020. E-mails should be entitled: AUTUMN WORKSHOP 2020 Abstract Submission. The authors of the accepted proposals will be notified by 30th September, 2020.

Presentations will be 20-minute long, followed by 15 minutes of Q&A and discussion. The workshop language will be English.

All papers presented will be subsequently published in the Peer-Reviewed Journal Mutual Images (ISSN 2496-1868), in Autumn 2021 (

All abstracts will be anonymously reviewed by a jury of specialists. We acknowledge receipt and answer to all paper proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week you should assume we did not receive your proposal. We suggest, then, to resend it.

Joint Organising Chairs:

Marco Bellano, University of Padova, Italy

Carlo Alberto Zotti Minici, University of Padova, Italy

José Andrés Santiago Iglesias, University of Vigo, Spain

Ana Soler Baena, University of Vigo, Spain

Aurore Yamagata-Montoya, Independant Researcher (MIRA), Lithuania

Danesin Maxime, Independant Researcher (MIRA), France

Design and Layout:

Tatiana Lameiro González, University of Vigo, Spain

Announcement: On Mutual Images 8th International Workshop


22-24th January 2021

Japanese Pilgrimages: Experiences and motivations behind cultural and spiritual peregrinations from and to East Asia


Considering the evolution of the Coronavirus crisis and the cautionary measures being taken by governments and universities, our workshop has been postponed and will take place from the 22nd to the 24th of January 2021.

It is difficult to plan normally the workshop without knowing the evolution of the Coronavirus crisis in the next months. We both wish to make this workshop as humanly as possible, but also avoid any risk of having to cancel it again at the last minute – and thus having participants obligated to cancel plane tickets and accomodations. This is why we have decided to make this workshop semi-Virtual:

  • Researchers living already in Japan (Japanese and foreigners) will be invited to attend (physically) at Ryukoku University, as they probably won’t be restricted to move around the country at that time. In the case that the Coronavirus crisis evolves negatively in January, to the point of having to quarantine, researchers living already in Japan will be invited to use the Zoom Conference system of Ryukoku University.
  • Researchers living abroad will be invited to use the Zoom Conference system of Ryukoku University. If you still wish to come physically, be prepared to maybe have to cancel your trip depending on the Coronavirus crisis and cautionary measures taken by governments and universities – such as a fourteen days quarantine. Considering the current situation, we sadly but strongly advised you against coming physically.

You will find in the Workshop section (top-right corner) all the information related to this event and its organisation. If you have any inqueries regarding the organisation, please, feel free to contact us.

The Mutual Images Research Association Board

Publication: Mutual Images, 8

Dear readers,

We are glad to announce the publication of the eighth issue of our transcultural research journal, Mutual Images. True to our philosophy, we have rendered this issue – titled “Artists, Aesthetics, and Artworks from, and in conversation with, Japan – Part 1 (of 2)” – freely available, as an open access ressource, on our Mutual Images Journal Website. To access it, click on “Research Journal” on the top-right corner.

Please enjoy this eighth issue of Mutual Images.

Marco Pellitteri, Main Editor

Announcement: On the COVID-19 outbreak

Dear readers,

Due to the ongoing situation relating to COVID-19 and the Japanese government’s own recent announcements, we have taken the difficult decision to postpone until next year our Mutual Images International 8th Workshop – which should have taken place on the 5-8th of June 2020. Watch our website for the revised date and other information.

Our team wish you the best through this dire time. Stay safe!

The Mutual Images Research Association Board

Publication: Mutual Images, 7

Dear readers,

We are glad to announce the publication of the seventh issue of our transcultural research journal, Mutual Images. True to our philosophy, we have rendered this issue – titled “Layers of aesthetics and ethics in Japanese pop culture” – freely available, as an open access ressource, on our Mutual Images Journal Website. To access it, click on “Research Journal” on the top-right corner.

Please enjoy this seventh issue of Mutual Images.

Marco Pellitteri, Main Editor

Newsletter: Autumn 2019

Dear readers,

We are delighted to present you the second MIRA Newsletter. We hope that you all enjoyed a pleasant, restful summer (although we all know well that summers are made for catching up on the research on hold during the teaching months) and are now ready to lose yourself in the contemplation of momiji to decompress from the usually busy autumn.

At MIRA, we have had a busy time since the first newsletter last spring. We were in Pontevedra (Spain) for the Mutual Images 7th Workshop co-organised with the University of Vigo and the dx5 research group and in Messina (Italy) for our 1st Summer School hosted by the University of Messina. We are now working hard, with a wide range of new and old partner institutions, to offer you several events in 2020 both in Europe and Japan. You will find in this newsletter more information about the next event that will be held in June 2020 at Ryukoku University (Kyoto, Japan). Information and CFP about other future events will be posted on the website when available and, of course, you’ll be able to read more about it in the next newsletter.

As we head towards the end of 2019, I am more than ever aware of the dedication of the amazing team of volunteers who made MIRA possible and grateful for their enthusiasm, hard work and companionship. Working in close relationship with people from many different places is an extraordinary chance both on the professional and personal level. Every event we organize allows me to meet wonderful new people, those who help organize at the hosting institution but also participants and audiences. We are all gathered for several days in a room bursting with thoughts and ideas. But abstract concepts are nothing without the people shaping them, they are less rich without discussion. We do our best to create events where everyone feels equally entitled to participate and present their research. We keep our events small so every participant gets a chance to talk with everybody. I have been personally involved in the organization of all the events since the creation of MIRA and got to meet and interact with a large number of people. The human connections were and remain one of the most important specificities of MIRA.

I also want to thank the editorial and scientific board members, the peer-reviewers and the proof-readers who help to make Mutual Images Journal possible. Their knowledge and time are greatly appreciated.

I wish you a pleasant reading and hope to see you at one of our future events !

Aurore Yamagata-Montoya, President of MIRA

[To access the newsletter, please check the PDF below]

Call for Papers: Mutual Images 8th International Workshop


5-8th June 2020

Japanese Pilgrimages: Experiences and motivations behind cultural and spiritual peregrinations from and to East Asia

Pilgrimages are a phenomenon as old as humanity with relevant consequences in the social, economic and cultural lives of countries and regions. On an individual level, there are many motivations behind the pilgrim experience where identity aspects such as religious affiliation, spiritual beliefs, tradition or mere curiosity play an important role. In recent years, the cultural industries and tourism industries have also developed sophisticated strategies in order to reach new audiences and gain market share. Content producers have obtained the sponsorship of national agencies in order to develop their products as a way of reinforcing National Branding. National agencies focused on tourism and development have found that representations of cultural heritage through fictional media positively impacts tourism through these Media Pilgrimages (also referred to as Content Tourism or Media Tourism), and media representations become a relevant tool for regional development.

The aim of the symposium was born from two ideas which correspond with relevant pillars of modern East Asian economies but also to many post-industrial societies. The first is the common cultural background of East Asian countries like Japan, Korea or China. These commonalities have made possible the rise of economic and cultural transnational flows which include as a main vortex pilgrimage destinations. The second, corresponding to a more contemporary shared meaning, is the consequence of the relevance of creative and cultural industries and their influence on the collective global imagination.

With this purpose, graduate students, scholars, independent researchers, and industry practitioners are invited to submit papers and presentations for this workshop. Contributions on the following topics or related areas will be specially considered:

  • Popular Culture and Contents Industries as vehicles for self-representation (manga, anime, games, pop music, film, tv series and more)
  • Interaction, Overlap and Competition between Cultural Heritage and Popular Culture appeal
  • Religion, spirituality, and superstition: temples, shrines, religious figures, animism, yokai and fox spirits
  • Political Communication and Media Culture. The “popular” response to social or natural crises (natural disasters, political transitions, etc)
  • Contents and institutional strategies such as “Soft Power”, from Japan but also other from East Asian Cultures
  • Assessing the concrete (economical, political, cultural) value derived from the international and national markets. Differences in strategies for appealing to each of these audiences.
  • The role of destination image and national branding in impacting tourists’ perception and attitudes toward a culture or nation. Positive (emotional bonds, affect, popularization…)  and negative effects (stereotyping, infantilization…) of the creation and dissemination of these images. 
  • Fictionality vs ‘authenticity’: finding manga, anime, and game settings
  • Media consumption and cultural exchange
  • Media representations and national stereotypes in Japan and other East Asian Cultures in relation to cultural and religious tourism
  • Games and Big Narratives i.e. Pokémon Go for the world traveler: seeking nests all over Asia
  • Comparing media contents tourism among East Asian markets or with other countries
  • The relationship between pop-culture, new media, globalization and tourism trends

We are delighted to confirm that Dr Craig Norris (University of Tasmania) and Dr Eriko Kawanishi (Kyoto University) will be keynote speakers for the Workshop.

Indicative Bibliography about this topic could include:

Anholt, Simon. “Beyond the Nation Brand: The Role of Image and Identity in International Relations.” Exchange: The Journal of Public Diplomacy, vol. 2, no. 1, 2013, pp. 6-12.

Crouch, David et al. “Introduction: The Media and the Tourist Imagination.” The Media and the Tourist Imagination: Converging Cultures, edited by David Crouch et al., Routledge, 2005, pp. 1-13.

Hernández-Pérez, Manuel. “Thinking of Spain in a Flat Way’: Spanish Tangible and Intangible Heritage through Contemporary Japanese Anime.” Mutual Images, vol. 3, 2017, pp. 43-69.

Kawanishi, Eriko. “Two Types of Japanese Pilgrimage to Britain ” EASA2018: Staying, Moving, Settling, 2018.

Norris, Craig. “A Japanese Media Pilgrimage to a Tasmanian Bakery.” 1, vol. 14, 2013, doi:10.3983/twc.2013.0470.

Okamoto, Takeshi. “Otaku Tourism and the Anime Pilgrimage Phenomenon in Japan.” Japan Forum, vol. 27, no. 1, 2015, pp. 12–36, doi:10.1080/09555803.2014.962565.

Sabre, Clothilde. “French Anime and Manga Fans in Japan : Pop Culture Tourism, Media Pilgrimage, Imaginary.” International Journal of Contents Tourism, no. 1, 2017, pp. 1-19.

Seaton, Philip and Takayoshi Yamamura. “Japanese Popular Culture and Contents Tourism – Introduction.” Japan Forum, vol. 27, no. 1, 2015, pp. 1–11, doi:10.1080/09555803.2014.962564.

Yamamura, Takayoshi. “Anime Pilgrimage and Local Tourism Promotion: An Experience of Washimiya Town, the Sacred Place for Anime “Lucky Star” Fans.” Journal of Tourism and Cultural Studies, no. 14, 2009, pp. 1-9.

Themes and topics outside of those listed above are more than welcome. Proposals can be sent using the submission form below.

Please send your abstract, along with your details (name, position and institution/affiliation), to:

The deadline is 31st January 2020.

Joint Organising Chairs:

Dr. Manuel Hernández-Pérez, University of Hull, UK

Dr. Aurore Yamagata-Montoya, Independant Researcher, Lithuania

Prof. Jessica Bauwens-Sugimoto, Ryukoku University, Kyoto