Tourism and the Shifting Values of Cultural Heritage:
Visiting Pasts, Developing Futures
University of Birmingham - Ironbridge Institute and
National Taiwan University
in association with
UNESCO UNITWIN Network – Tourism, Culture, Development
(Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne) and
Centre for Tourism and Cultural Change, UK
April 5-9, 2013, Taipei, Taiwan
The cultural heritage of nation
states, regions and communities is not only seen as a marker of identity
but is also, more than ever, open and projected for global consumption.
Domestic and international tourists visit
both their own pasts and those of others through a vast diversity of
tangible heritage sites – buildings, monuments, museums, landscapes etc.
– and also a variety of intangible heritage rituals and performances.
But the motivations and practices of those which
are involved in the protection, preservation, display and management of
cultural heritage can, and frequently do, differ from tourists who
metaphorically ‘visit’ the past and, the tourism sector which
selectively packages the past in the form of heritage.
Such divergences reflect the different values attached to cultural
heritage and the different value systems through which heritage is
In this context, this conference
seeks to examine both the tensions and opportunities in the processes of
valuing and protecting cultural heritage and, in mobilising it for
development purposes in the wider social sphere.
We wish to explore how heritage ‘works’ in the context of shifting and
mobile values and, the various ways in which tourism and tourists shape,
embed and change the value of heritage in societies.
- How does the doing of tourism and the being a tourist, impact upon our understandings and appreciation of cultural heritage?
- How do our values regarding the past change?
do / should we communicate cultural heritage to tourists and society at
large, in an age of immediacy, a time of multiple realities and in
Such questions underpin the policies and politics of cultural heritage and the dynamics of international tourism.
The Conference aims to provide
critical dialogue beyond disciplinary boundaries and we invite papers
from all disciplines and fields including: anthropology, archaeology,
art history, architecture, cultural geography, cultural
studies, ethnology and folklore, economics, history, heritage studies,
landscape studies, leisure studies, museum studies, philosophy,
political science, sociology, tourism studies and urban/spatial
We welcome perspectives on all aspects
of the tourism and cultural heritage relationship. Papers dealing with
all categories of heritage are invited – world heritage, natural
heritage, built and urban heritage, colonial
heritage, religious heritage, heritage landscapes, intangible heritage,
museum heritage, food heritage etc. etc. Potential themes of interest
- Understanding tourist experiences of heritage sites – narrative, memory and emotion
- Interpreting and communicating the values of heritage – engaging complex audiences
- Identity building through tangible and intangible heritage – challenging traditions
- Regeneration programmes based on heritage – economies of nostalgia
- Processes of commodifying pasts for touristic consumption – (dis)inventing tradition
- Heritages of conflict – power, glory and displacement
- Mobile heritage – diasporas, routes and roots
Please send a 300 word abstract of your paper with a clear title to:
Please be sure to include your full contact details.