F1
Focal points and talking points: objects of desire in tourism

Convenors:
Mike Robinson (University of Birmingham)
Alison Phipps (Glasgow University)
Stream:
Series F: Material culture
Location:
GCG09/10
Start time:
13 April, 2007 at 10:00
Session slots:
1

Short abstract:

This panel examines the ways in which contact/encounter with the material world 'in visu' and 'in situ' generates, mediates and challenges tourism and tourist narratives and discourses. It explores ways in which tourists negotiate objects and the wider physical world and how such processes contribute to self-making, notions of identity and exchange.

Long abstract:

Material culture (as well as more intangible cultural expressions and forms) provides a longstanding focus for tourism. When, how and why culture is 'owned' relates to issues of utility, symbolic and exchange value that are increasingly expressed through tourism and discussed / reflected upon by tourists. This panel seeks to examine the ways in which contact/encounter with the material world 'in visu' and 'in situ' generates, mediates and challenges tourism and tourist narratives and discourses. Social and political orchestrations / constructions of the material world and the ways in which culture is 'owned', together with how objects and tourists are positioned / juxtaposed, can expose or obscure truths and silences. We wish to explore the ways in which material culture - objects, souvenirs, buildings, edifices etc. - which are both in and out of their cultural contexts, in highly structured environments and in ad hoc, dislocated and precarious settings, are able to feed the processes of self-making and exchange in which the tourist engages. Papers are welcome which address the following: - Concepts of material desire in tourism - wants, needs and fixes - Objects as tourist talking points - control and controversy - Politics of presentation - notices, labels, guides and audio-guides and - Ownership of narratives and memories - spaces of display and discourse, cross-culturalism - Carrying the material world through tourist language - truths and distortions