Towards a non-human anthropology of tourism
Ignacio Farias (Humboldt University of Berlin)
Series D: Mobilities
Start time:
10 April, 2007 at 16:30
Session slots:

Short abstract:

This panel seeks to gather and discuss new perspectives, first, on tourist agency as distributed through hybrid assemblages of human and nonhumans and, second, on tourism, not as a form of physical mobility, but rather as a social practice, performance, frame, ordering, or systemic communication.

Long abstract:

The panel seeks to gather and discuss new theoretical perspectives for the anthropology of tourism and, thereby, discuss two extended assumptions in contemporary tourism studies. First, tourist agency cannot be longer understood as an exclusively human property and, therefore, the tourist not longer treated as independent variable, cause, or origin of tourism. Papers are welcomed that reassess tourist embodiment, perfomances and mobility as phenomena mediated and constituted by materialities, nature, technologies, and texts. Ethnographic, visual and theoretical contributions elaborating on the experience of being a tourist as a relational effect of large assemblages of humans and non-humans might focus on a variety of topics, such as material cultures (clothing cultures, souvenirs, tools), technological devices (photographic and video cameras, double-deckers), textual constructions (guidebooks, novels), animal cultures (from pets to monsters). Second, it is necessary also to reconsider the traditional association of tourism with physical mobility. Papers are welcomed that explore tourism from new theoretical frameworks focusing on social practices, performances, interactional frames, performative orderings, systemic communication, etc. Ethnographic, visual and theoretical contributions might focus on a variety of phenomena such as the blurring boundaries between home and away, the expansion of forms of non-touristic global mobility, as well as new forms of tourism at home, particularly tourism within the city. Not exclusively, but this panel especially welcomes contributions tuned with what might be called 'the non-human turn' in the social sciences, based on rhizomatic (such as Actor-Network Theory) and communicative (ethnomethodology, systems theory, etc.) understandings of the social.