Conference – Making and unmaking World(s) with tourism (en anglais)

Catégorie : Évènements

The Critical Tourism Studies (CTS) community is an international network of scholars who share a vision of producing and promoting social change in and through tourism practice, research and education.

CTS has done this so far by seeking to legitimise the critical school of thought in tourism studies and by providing an inclusive environment for new and alternative voices in the academy. Adopting a broad definition of ‘criticality’, CTS seeks to find novel ways of understanding and changing tourism by locating the phenomenon in its wider political, economic, cultural and social contexts.


In March of 2020, the WHO granted pandemic status to the SARS-COV-2 virus. This was quickly followed by a drastic drop of international mobility—according to the UNWTO, international tourism dropped by around 70% for 2020 and 2021. Ghostlike images of empty, depopulated tourism-central places were shared around the globe, becoming symbolic of a world in lockdown. At that very moment, critical voices were raised to call for tourism to acknowledge its role in both the pandemic and the Anthropocene; the global “pause” was seen as an opportunity to rethink and reinvent tourism, from its processes to its very conditions of existence. Some of those voices and critical conversations were captured in a timely issue of Tourism Geographies asserting that tourism will matter greatly in the eventual post-pandemic world.

Fast forward to 2023 and tourism is rapidly recovering, with international travel resuming despite lingering COVID infections and waves of new variants, an unstable geopolitical situation with multiple conflicts and social unrest , and an accelerating climate crisis. The assemblage of these three crises are uniquely at play in the becoming of new World(s) and the disentangling of other ones. Consequently, the 3rd Critical Tourism Studies—North America conference aims to consider the different World(s) tourism has enacted or dismissed, with particular attention to the role of tourism in a nexus of crises where it is marked as both the cause and as part of the possible solution.

The concept of World(s) is not without evocating the late Fernand Braudel and his World System Theory. World System Theory offers a lens to understand and critique the uneven pattern of global development while offering tools to tackle issues of imperialism and inequality at the global scale. But then, World(s) can be plural and multiple. As the Worldmaking work of our beloved Keith Hollinshead shows, tourism is constructing its own multiple World(s) with a strong process of coding, de/coding, and re/coding people, places, and history. At the intersection of Braudel and Hollinshead, you also find Mathis Stock, with his work on understanding what it means to live in (a) touristic World(s).

Making and unmaking World(s) with tourism

The 3rd CTS—NA conference aims at exploring how tourism is entangled in World(s) making and unmaking processes, with a focus on three dimensions: political economy, the Anthropocene, and pluriversalism.

Indeed, these three dimensions offer a broad look at tourism capacities to make and unmake World(s).

First, in the political economy dimension, the conference will be a forum to consider tourism’s role in unveiling the power of relations at play within the realm of public policy, and how public policy intersects with the functioning of the economy and capital circulation. This includes attending to how certain economic relations inherently encourage capital and wealth accumulation at one end, while impoverishing many at the other end (and with a multiplicity of actors, and actants in between).

Second, in the Anthropocene dimension, the conference will support exploration of the links tourism makes with more than human subjects, and its entangling with the living systems that enable life on earth as we know it, as well as future life on earth as the multiple environmental crises we are facing (e.g., climate change, massive extinctions, desertification, etc.) continue to accelerate.

Finally, the conference will be a place of opening possible World(s), as pluriversalism underlines that many understandings and multiple ways of making sense of the World(s) exist(s) and co-exist(s) as the latest feminist, post-colonial, anti-racist, and Indigenous research methodologies and studies expose.

We welcome communications, workshop and special sessions revolving around those three dimensions.

Informations pratiques

  • Submit your proposal:
  • CFP open until April 15th
  • Early Birds registration open April 15th
  • Regular registration May 7th