The Phenomenology of Travel and Tourism

A special issue of Humanities (ISSN 2076-0787). This special issue belongs to the section "Anthropology in the Humanities".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 July 2023) | Viewed by 9411

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Communication and Media, University of Liverpool, 19 Abercromby Square L69 7ZG, UK
Interests: spatial anthropology; urban cultural studies; memory-work and everyday cultures; liminality, space and travel; culture and everyday life
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Guest Editor
School of Doctoral Management Studies, Liverpool John Moores University, 4-6 Rodney Street, Liverpool L1 2TZ, UK
Interests: issues of identity; self-hood and the social body/embodiment principally in relation to tourism and travel; liminality

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This is a proposal for a Special Issue of the Humanities journal on the theme of “the phenomenology of travel and tourism”. Seeking to elicit deeper understandings of the experiential and embodied modalities of travel, and of the practical interdisciplinary orientations through which such understandings may be productively elicited, the motivation for this Special Issue has its roots in the fields of phenomenological and existential anthropology that have helped place the elemental ‘beingness’ of travel and tourism more firmly in the foreground of academic discussion (e.g. Andrews 2009, 2017; Palmer 2018;). While our editorial focus stems from anthropological reflections on fieldwork practices—i.e., how we can better apprise ourselves of fine-grained insights into the experiential worlds of the tourist and traveller, and how, in turn, these feed into the writing-up process and the production of travel narratives—this has developed alongside broader interdisciplinary engagements with scholarship that examines the practices, performances, feelings and doings of travel and tourism through the lens of phenomenology. In this respect, this Special Issue will be the first collection to bring together contributions from across the humanities and social sciences that explicitly address the phenomenology of travel and tourism as a methodological underpinning of travel and tourism narratives. As the impact of COVID-19 is felt in tourism and travel practices around the world, with calls in some quarters to move forward in different ways, the insights offered from a phenomenological approach to understanding tourism and travel as social and cultural practices bring questions of embodiment and the sensory entanglements with places and spaces of travel more prominently to the fore. Contributions for this Special Issue are therefore sought from a wide range of fields that variously address the phenomenological and experiential dynamics of tourism and travel. These can be theoretical and/or methodological in scope insofar as ideas from phenomenological philosophy are brought to bear on questions of travel and the embodied and experiential dispositions that shape the production of socially and culturally specific tourism and travel narratives, whether fieldwork description, travelogues, deep mapping and spatial stories, or contributions to travel literature more widely.

Dr. Les Roberts
Prof. Dr. Hazel Andrews
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information 

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Humanities is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

17 pages, 4564 KiB  
Article
Virtual Dwelling and the Phenomenology of Experience: Museum Encounters between Self and World
by Catherine Palmer
Humanities 2023, 12(6), 148; https://doi.org/10.3390/h12060148 - 12 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1519
Abstract
This article provides an anthropologically derived philosophy of the nature of experience in relation to the lifeworld of virtual tourism. Framed around Martin Heidegger and Tim Ingold’s concept of dwelling, I interrogate what the implications of a virtually derived experience of tourism might [...] Read more.
This article provides an anthropologically derived philosophy of the nature of experience in relation to the lifeworld of virtual tourism. Framed around Martin Heidegger and Tim Ingold’s concept of dwelling, I interrogate what the implications of a virtually derived experience of tourism might be for how we understand what experience means and by extension the experience of being human-in-the-world; in effect, what it means to ‘experience’ virtual tourism. I illustrate my argument by focusing on extended reality (XR) technology within the context of three museums, since museum experiences are increasingly mediated by varying forms of XR. I am interested in what the virtual-tourism-world of a museum might reveal about the experience of being human, experience that I refer to as virtual dwelling. The museums are the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle and the Louvre, both of which are located in Paris, France, and the Kennedy Space Centre Visitor Complex in FL, USA. These examples provide a snapshot into the merging, blending or overlaying of the physical with the virtual. In other words, the inseparability of virtual, person and world. Drawing from Heidegger, I argue that the significance of technology does not lie in its instrumentality as a resource or as a means to an end. Its significance comes from its capacity to un-conceal or reveal a ‘real’ world of relations and intentions through which humans take power over reality. The nature of experience, as virtual dwelling revealed, concerns the relationship between humans and the natural world, understandings of cultural value and cultural wealth and notions of human exceptionalism. Ultimately, what technologically modified experiences of a virtual-tourism-world reveal is experience as virtual dwelling, experience of the embeddedness of being human-in-the-world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Phenomenology of Travel and Tourism)
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13 pages, 9068 KiB  
Article
Co-Creating Nature: Tourist Photography as a Creative Performance
by Katrín Anna Lund
Humanities 2023, 12(6), 141; https://doi.org/10.3390/h12060141 - 29 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1538
Abstract
This article examines tourism nature photography as a creative and sensual activity. Based on a collection of photographs gathered from tourists in the Strandir region in northwest Iceland, I demonstrate how photographing nature is a more-than-human practice in which nature has full agency. [...] Read more.
This article examines tourism nature photography as a creative and sensual activity. Based on a collection of photographs gathered from tourists in the Strandir region in northwest Iceland, I demonstrate how photographing nature is a more-than-human practice in which nature has full agency. Much has been written about tourist photography since John Urry theorised about the tourist gaze in the early 1990s; this view has been criticised, especially in the light of the performance turn in tourism studies.It has, for example, been noted that tourist photography is not just about the gazing tourist, but also about social relations that the surrounding landscape partly directs and stages. It has also been argued that, as photographing tourists, we become ‘concerned with the artistic production of ourselves’. Photography is thus a practise that is relational and sensual and that cannot be reduced to the seeing eye. However, whilst emphasising the tourist as a creative being, the surrounding landscape has been left out as a stage and its active agency ignored. I address the complex, more-than-human relations that emerge in the photographs collected in Strandir. I argue that the act of photographing, as a performative practice, is improvisational and co-creative, and the material surroundings have a direct and active agency. As has been demonstrated, photography communicates ‘not through the realist paradigm but through lyrical expressiveness’ and, thus, it may be argued that tourist photography is a poetic practice of making, as it weaves together the sensing self and the vital surroundings in the moving moment that the photograph captures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Phenomenology of Travel and Tourism)
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13 pages, 239 KiB  
Article
Tourist Trap: Cuba as a Microcosm
by Michael Chanan
Humanities 2023, 12(5), 91; https://doi.org/10.3390/h12050091 - 29 Aug 2023
Viewed by 962
Abstract
Hans Magnus Enzensberger, who called tourism an industry “whose production is identical to its advertisement”, also wrote about the pitfalls of what he called the “tourism of the revolution” that flourished between the world wars in Soviet Russia. This essay combines both perspectives [...] Read more.
Hans Magnus Enzensberger, who called tourism an industry “whose production is identical to its advertisement”, also wrote about the pitfalls of what he called the “tourism of the revolution” that flourished between the world wars in Soviet Russia. This essay combines both perspectives in a discussion of the experience of making a film about ecology in Cuba in 2019, Cuba: Living Between Hurricanes, which includes a section on the tourist industry. Informed by the perspectives of autoethnography and phenomenology, the author explores the cognitive dissonance of the filmmaker’s ambiguous relationship, as a professional tourist, to the contradictions of the tourist industry as refracted through the small coastal town of Caibarién on the north coast where Hurricane Irma made landfall in 2017. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Phenomenology of Travel and Tourism)
12 pages, 286 KiB  
Article
Questioning Walking Tourism from a Phenomenological Perspective: Epistemological and Methodological Innovations
by Chiara Rabbiosi and Sabrina Meneghello
Humanities 2023, 12(4), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/h12040065 - 19 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1455
Abstract
This article aims to illuminate the overlooked entanglement of space, material practices, affects, and cognitive work emplaced in walking tourism. Walking as a tourism activity is generally practised in the open air away from crowded locations; therefore, it is being encouraged even more [...] Read more.
This article aims to illuminate the overlooked entanglement of space, material practices, affects, and cognitive work emplaced in walking tourism. Walking as a tourism activity is generally practised in the open air away from crowded locations; therefore, it is being encouraged even more in this (post)pandemic era than prior to the pandemic. While walking is often represented as a relatively easy activity in common promotional discourse, this article argues that it is much more complex. It revises the notion of tourist place performance, focusing on walking both as a tourist practice and as a research method that questions multi-sensory and emotional walker engagement. While extensively revisiting literature on walking tourism and the most novel methodological innovations, the article draws from a walking tourism experience undertaken as part of a student trip to demonstrate that the emotions that arise from walkers’ embodied encounters with living, as well as inanimate elements, extend beyond what might be included in a simple focus on landscape “sights”. In conclusion, it is suggested that a phenomenological approach to walking may prove particularly useful for understanding key issues associated with space, place, and tourism mobilities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Phenomenology of Travel and Tourism)
14 pages, 316 KiB  
Article
The Spaces and Places of the Tourism Encounter. On Re-Centring the Human in a More-Than/Non-Human World
by Edward Hákon Huijbens
Humanities 2023, 12(4), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/h12040055 - 26 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1411
Abstract
This paper will revalue the phenomenological understandings of the tourism encounter, inspired by spatial theories of intentionality. With a growing body of theory delving into the relational realm and the ways in which the body and our actions are relationally enmeshed in networks [...] Read more.
This paper will revalue the phenomenological understandings of the tourism encounter, inspired by spatial theories of intentionality. With a growing body of theory delving into the relational realm and the ways in which the body and our actions are relationally enmeshed in networks of more-than/non-human entities, this paper seeks to recentre human intentionality as the core of the tourism encounter to better address its political nature and relevance. Whilst thereby critiquing some of the propositions of relational ontology, the paper is not about rejecting these, but augmenting them through a focus on the intention to care. Thereby, the paper will explore the ways in which the tourism encounter can be re-storied as one for making spaces and places of conviviality through people relating to each other and their surroundings with particular intent imbued with care. Valuing care and how it can be narrated helps to make space for a plurality of futures which can in turn break the deadlock of tourism being conceived either as mass/over- or alternative tourism. Both of these and more exist at the same time in the same place. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Phenomenology of Travel and Tourism)
15 pages, 306 KiB  
Article
Songlines Are for Singing: Un/Mapping the Lived Spaces of Travelling Memory
by Les Roberts
Humanities 2023, 12(3), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/h12030052 - 16 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1579
Abstract
Putting to work the dialectical concept of ‘un/mapping’, this paper examines the immateriality of cultural memory as coalescent in and around songlines: spatial stories woven from the autobiogeographical braiding of music and memory. Borrowing from Erll’s concept of ‘travelling memory’ (2011), the [...] Read more.
Putting to work the dialectical concept of ‘un/mapping’, this paper examines the immateriality of cultural memory as coalescent in and around songlines: spatial stories woven from the autobiogeographical braiding of music and memory. Borrowing from Erll’s concept of ‘travelling memory’ (2011), the idea of songlines provides a performative framework with which to both travel with music memory and to map/unmap the travelling of music memory. The theoretical focus of the work builds on empirical studies into music, place and cultural memory in the form of interviews conducted across the UK in 2010–2013. The interviews were designed to explore the way peoples’ musical pasts—memories of listening to music in the domestic home, for example, or attendance at concerts and festivals, music as soundtracks to journeys, holidays or everyday commutes to work or school, music at key rite of passage moments—have coloured and given shape to the narratives that structure a sense of embodied selfhood and social identity over time. Songlines, it is shown, tether the self to spaces and temporalities that map a tangled meshwork of lives lived spatially, where the ghosts of musical pasts are as vital and alive as the traveller who has invoked them. Analysis and discussion is centred around the following questions: How should the songlines of memory be mapped in ways that remain true and resonant with those whose spatial stories they tell? How, phenomenologically, can memory be rendered as an energy that remains creatively vital without running the risk of dissipating that energy by seeking to fix it in space and time (to memorialise it)? And if, as is advocated in the paper, we should not be in the business of mapping songlines, how do we go about the task of singing them? Pursuing these and other lines of enquiry, this paper explores a spatial anthropology of movement and travel in which the un/mapping of popular music memory mobilises phenomenological understandings of the entanglements of self, culture and embodied memory. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Phenomenology of Travel and Tourism)
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