Memory is not only regarded as an individual and cognitive act of remembering the past, but also a social activity of reconstructing the past. Seen by many as a ‘moral practice’ and a collective duty (devoir de mémoire), such as in the form of the public remembering of horrors, ‘social memory’, ‘cultural memory’ and ‘historical memory’ work towards refashioning modern identities, and the contestation of those identities, in a changing World. Memory, in both its particular and universal forms, changes the ways we think of ourselves, of the past, of space, and how we engage with the past and develop narratives. Memory is also seen as inextricably linked to place, as if preserved and anchored in space. Memories also shape our experiences as tourists; of how and what we choose to remember of the places, people, and cultures we visit.
In the postmodern, postcolonial world, new regimes of memory are effectively appropriated, negotiated and contested by ‘cultural actors’, communities and nation states to achieve the agendas of domination, resistance and categorization. As an integral part of the emerging regimes of memory, tourism is being re-considered as a crucial instrument toward the historicisation of social, cultural and public memory. This conference seeks to uncover the role of tourism in this process of historicisation through diverse epistemological approaches. The aim of this conference is to examine the ways in which memory is appropriated in tourism, both at the individual and collective level, in the articulation of identities, the construction of imaginaries about people and places, the re-invention of the past as an instrument of rule and dominance and as form of resistance. In the context of increasing mobilities – particularly in the forms of neo-nationalism and transnationalism – the conference seeks to confront the rise of memory and its social values in touristic practice. What role does memory play in the construction of “globalised public space”? How does it simultaneously represent both universalizing and particularizing phenomena? And how does it shape new mobilities, ‘mixed cultures’, networks, exchange and renewed ways of communication?
Also, as we are exploring the practices and experiences of people at memory sites, we wish to consider the experiences and practices of various actors, including tourists, officials, cultural intermediaries and urban planners. In this conference we therefore attempt to engage with the relationship to the past through memory not necessarily as an effect of globalization, but as an agent producing globalization, and endeavour to discuss how and to what extent tourism plays an active role in the globalized convergence between memory, self and the Other; self and the nation.
We invite scholarly interventions from diverse disciplines and fields including: tourism studies, history, geography, cultural studies, sociology, anthropology, heritage and museum studies. Given this conference aims to understand how and why remembrance tourism is now a globalized phenomenon we also welcome comparative approaches.
Major Themes and Suggested Topics
Themes we propose to explore in this conference but not limited to include:
● Connections between remembrance, commemoration, tourism and politics: Is the rise of memory or remembrance in public politics a global phenomenon? What are the new categories of public practices in tourism and renewed categories in tourism politics (like remembering tourism as a form of cultural tourism)?
● Memory and construction of tourism imaginaries: How is memory appropriated in tourism, both at the individual and collective level? How are memories used in the articulation of identities and constructions of imaginaries about people and places?
● Tourism, memory and regimes of values: How can the convergence between social memory and tourism present as a selective process? How is memory appropriated by individuals and groups to shape, modify and produce particular systems of dispositions and culture?
● Tourism and Nostalgia: How tourism can be used to restore and re-establish “lieux de mémoire,” and “milieux de mémoire”. Why “at particular historical moments” when consciousness of a break with the past tears apart memory, its embodiment in certain sites, touristic or pilgrimage, where a sense of historical continuity still persisted, becomes all too necessary to restore memory to its former spaces?
The methodology of presentation and discussion
Since this conference is being organized around specific major themes, we propose to convene special session around some of these themes and invite discussions based on precirculation of full-length papers to be circulated at least one month before the conference to all who indicate a special interest in particular themes. Other sessions will be based on oral addresses. The interested participants may therefore mention their mode of presentation (discussion on precirculated papers or oral presentations) at the time of submitting their abstracts.