Call for Papers. Journeys of Expression III: Tourism and Festivals as

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Call for Papers

Journeys of Expression III: Tourism and Festivals as Transnational Practice

3rd annual CTCC Tourism & Festival Research Conference
Innsbruck, Austria, 5-7 May 2004

Journeys of Expression III: Tourism and Festivals as Transnational Practice is a small three day academic conference being held in Innsbruck, Austria from 5 to 7 May 2004.

It is being co-organised by the Centre for Tourism and Cultural Change at Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom) and the Institute for European Ethnology and Folklore at Innsbruck University. The aim of the conference is to present and discuss a selection of case studies and theoretical approaches focusing on the relation between tourism and festivals in the context of the contemporary world(s).

Since at least 12,000 BC, humans have been creating symbolic ‘models’ to explain their existence and their relations to the world; models to articulate and make meaningful the contradictive conditions of our loving, longing, suffering, hating, communicating, exchanging and ‘passing by’. These models are usually expressed and mediated through various forms of narration, aesthetic production and the festive enactment of legends and myths during moments of social concentration. Since the early 19th century, social scientists and philosophers have been interested in the links between these festively created forms of the poetic, aesthetic and artistic, and the social organisation of groups and societies. Such forms and practices have also long provided focal points for tourists; travellers of times and spaces that are seeking experiences, narrations and intercultural participation that make personal and collective worlds meaningful.

Within this context, this conference aims to discuss academic meanings of the relation between tourism and festivals in a transnational context. Why do tourists go to festivals? How do they participate? What do they experience and through which forms of symbolic or semiotic frameworks do they make this experience meaningful? Do festivals become social nodes of a transnational culture, of a ‘global village’? What is the meaning of the economic and symbolic exchange processes involved? Are there meta-narratives, and what is their ideological grounding, and their vision of the world?

The conference welcomes case studies and theoretical explorations that address such questions. Themes for the conference include:

  • tourism and festivals as transnational social phenomena;
  • tourism as a global geographical extension of ritual processes;
  • heritage, culture and nature as sacred spaces;
  • festivals as transnational relations and exchange systems;
  • cultural festivals as international institutions, utopias and doctrines;
  • festivals as expressions of power;
  • tourist participation in ‘cultural’ festivals and the communication of experience;
  • the challenge of internationalisation to cultural values and organisation patterns.

    We welcome critical contestations and discussions of such themes and would particularly appreciate papers that are based on research data. Please send a 250 word abstract to Dr David Picard (

    The deadline to submit abstracts is the 5th of March 2004. Given the short notice, we will be accepting abstracts earlier to provide participants with more time.

    Conference convenors: Mike Robinson, David Picard, Oliver Haid

    Centre for Tourism & Cultural Change
    Sheffield Hallam University
    Howard Street – Owen Building
    Sheffield S1 1WB
    United Kingdom

    Website: [url=][/url]

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