Call for Papers

International Conference Announcement and Final Call for Papers

Tourism, Roads and Cultural Itineraries: Meaning, Memory and Development

June 13 – 15, 2012, Québec, Canada

Université Laval and Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, Canada
Université Paris 1, Panthéon – Sorbonne, France
University of Birmingham, UK

The road connects places, peoples and pasts. From the Silk Road across Asia to Route 66 across the USA, the road allows flows of people, goods and ideas. Starting from simple functional pathways, roads are worn into the ground, social life, economies and into complex networks.  As a route connecting ‘home and away’, ‘to and from’ and, as marker for territory, as well as a vector for cutting across territorial boundaries, the road is embedded in tourism in its most basic sense, allowing and directing the journey, the excursion, pilgrimage and circuits through landscapes and cultures.  The road also provides a fluid space for inter-cultural engagement, encounter and exchange. Along the road, and on the road, all life passes by and leaves its mark in terms of settlement, staging posts, signs and memories.

In the modern development of tourism the notion of the itinerary has become well established; in many cases building on historical routes, roads and circuits devised for non-leisure purposes.  Such itineraries are shaped by various ideas: of access to sites of meaning, spiritual renewal and places of cultural and commercial activity; of the ‘scenic’ where the journey is transcended by the landscape it passes through; of embodied struggle and challenge against the terrain of the road; of adventurous incursion into forbidden territory and; of heritage and memory where belonging and meaning is sought.

This Conference seeks to interrogate the ways in which roads, routes and pathways and the imaginative itineraries which are layered upon them, are developed, maintained, deviated from, contested, imagined, remembered, travelled and experienced by, and for, tourists.  How are itineraries devised? How do they reflect local and global histories? What narratives do they produce and consume?  How are communities shaped by tourist itineraries? How are touristic routes and networks shaped by new technologies? What does it mean to ‘pass through’ a landscape? What memories are generated through itineraries?

The Conference aims to provide critical dialogue beyond disciplinary boundaries and thus we invite papers from all disciplines and fields including: anthropology, art history, architecture, cultural geography, cultural studies, ethnology and folklore, economics, history, heritage studies, landscape studies, leisure studies, philosophy, political science, sociology, tourism studies, transport studies and urban/spatial planning.

We welcome innovative perspectives on all aspects of the Conference. Key themes of interest include:

  • Historic and Contemporary ‘Grand Tours’
  • Pilgrimage Routes – Religious, Secular and Spiritual
  • Imagined Routes – Mythic Highways and Meta-narratives
  • Forbidden Pathways and Crossing Boundaries
  • Itineraries of Memory and Memorable Places
  • Roadside Development  – Staging Posts and Stopping Places
  • Heritage Routes – Linking the Tangible and Intangible
  • Signposting and Markers of Place
  • Itineraries of War, Violence and Displacement
  • Tourists and the Electronic Highway
  • Media Representations of the Road and Routes
  • Inter-cultural Dialogue ‘On the Move’
  • Walking, Motoring and ‘Passing By’
  • Paths of Migration
  • Scenic Routes and the Obscene
  • The Economies of Cultural Routes 

Please submit an abstract of no more than 500 words, including title and full contact details, as an electronic file to:

You may submit your abstract as soon as possible but no later than February 5th 2012. Abstracts can be written and presented in English, French or Spanish.

Time and Place

The Conference: 13th to 15th June 2012 in Québec City (Québec)
Deadline for submitting proposed papers: February 5th, 2012
Confirmation of Accepted Papers: February 20th, 2012
Publication of Preliminary Program: March 15th, 2012

Deadline for Submitting Articles for the Conference Proceedings

Authors of accepted abstracts shall be requested to file their completed articles prior to September 15th, 2012 (English, French or Spanish) in order that they may be included in the Conference Proceedings. The final document must be no more than 5,000 words. Please consult the guidelines posted on the Conference Internet Site

Conference Proceedings and best manuscripts or “best papers”

All accepted papers shall be published in the Conference Proceedings. In the case of multiple authors, please note that at least one of them must be a registered Conference participant. It is provided that some selected articles shall be published in a special edition of a well-known review. Best contributions are also slated for publication during the year 2012.

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