Int. Conference Québec.
In January 2012, I submitted an abstract to the conference Tourist and Cultural Itineraries: From Memory to Development in Quebec. My successful application, which was based on the series of walks I have been developing in Sunderland called Street Flowers: Urban Survivors of the Privileged Land, can be found as a downloadable PDF on the right hand side of this page.
Following the conference, I submitted my chapter for publication. The rules for submission were that the paper should not exceed more than 5000 words and include a maximum of four images. The latter restriction presented an interesting challenge. I had many images taken of the meanders and, together, they formed a comprehensive documentation of these four-hour events. However, the restriction made me think again about the use of images and (very relevant when working within the context of phenomenological enquiry) to find other, non-visual, ways of getting across the embodied experiences we all shared on these meanders. You will find downloadable PDFs of both the visually truncated version (with four B/W images) and an extended version which includes 20 images. I am not sure, in the end, that I don't prefer the version with just four images (I must say that I am indebted here to Adam Phillips for his terrific photos).
The following text was used to advertise the conference and its broad aims
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.
The organisers welcomed innovative perspectives on all aspects of the Conference