From an e-notice circulated on H-Material Culture:

19 – 23 July 2007, Leeds, United Kingdom

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 relics
* The tourist object as metaphor and memory
* Ownership, display and interpretation – contested pasts and presents
* 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.

More information on this conference can soon be found at

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