Things that Move: The Material Worlds of Tourism and Travel

19 – 23 July 2007, Leeds, United Kingdom

Still from the film Cannibal Tours, by Dennis O’Rourke,
Whatever the prophecies of ‘virtual’ reality, we inhabit and move
through the ‘real’ world of objects. Though tourism and travel are
bound to concepts of time and space, they are also rooted in the
material world – a tangible world of places, things, edifices,
buildings, monuments and ‘stuff’. The relationships we develop and
share with these things varies from the remote to the intimate, from
the transient to the lasting and from the passive to the passionate.
Within the practices of tourism and its use (and non-use) of the
material world, and, through the act of travel, objects are given
meaning, status, and are endowed with symbolism and power. Objects
construct, represent and even define the tourist experience. Our
journeys through the world of objects generate a plethora of emotions
– pleasure, attachment, belonging, angst, envy, exclusion, loathing
and fear – and feed on-going discourse and narratives. Moreover,
through tourism, and our touristic encounters, the material world
itself is challenged and changed.
In this, our fifth annual international research conference, we seek
to explore the multi-faceted relationships between tourism and
material culture – the built environment, infrastructures, consumer
and household goods, art, souvenirs, ephemera and landscapes. As in
previous events, the conference aims to provoke critical dialogue
beyond disciplinary boundaries and epistemologies and thus we welcome
papers from the following disciplines: aesthetics, anthropology,
archaeology, architecture, art and design history, cultural geography,
cultural studies, ethnology and folklore, history, heritage studies,
landscape studies, linguistics, museum studies, philosophy, political
sciences, sociology, tourism studies and urban/spatial planning.

Key themes of interest to the conference include:
* Histories, mobilities, and the symbolic/political economies
of tourism objects
* The dialectics of tourism objects and places / spaces
* Structures / infrastructures of international tourism –
building / architecture / design for tourism and tourists
* Tourism in the museum
* Tourist art and art for tourists
* The performance of material culture in the tourism realm
* Language and the translation of objects in tourism
* The tourist souvenir – commodity fetishism and religious
* The tourist object as metaphor and memory
* Ownership, display and interpretation – contested pasts and
* Curating for tourism – collecting the worlds of the tourist
* Overcoming the material through the virtual – future realms
of tourist experience
Please submit your 300 word abstract including a title and full
contact details as an electronic file to Professor Mike Robinson
as soon as possible but no later than March 23rd, 2007.
Abeti Ilofo
Centre for Tourism and Cultural Change Faculty of Arts & Society Leeds
Metropolitan University The Old School Board Calverley Street Leeds
phone: +44(0)113- 283 2600 Ext: 29022
Notice received via Aaron Glass, Department of Anthropology, UBC, Canada