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Call for Papers

“Tourism and Memory, Tourism as Memorial, Memories of Tourism” DE EN ES FR IT

Anne Hertzog (Maître de conférences, Université de Cergy-Pontoise),
Rémy Knafou (Professeur émérite, Université Paris 1) and
Philippe Barrière (Agrégé d'histoire, docteur en histoire)

The scientific issue which concerns us here consists in exploring the rich, intricate links between tourism and memory. Historical, anthropological or sociological approaches to memory have not dwelt much on tourism, while tourism experts have done little in the way of theorizing about the links between tourism and memory. Hence, we wish to explore this point from a theoretical and epistemological perspective: if one considers the link between tourism and memory as a “presence of the past”, is this approach conducive to gaining a better understanding of “tourism” itself? Or does it apply to a specific and original form of tourism, of interest to a great number of tourism specialists, and a source of concern for a good number of memorial managers? It should be noted that we are referring here to a definition of tourism as a “system of actors, of practices and of spaces which play a role in ‘entertaining‘ people via displacement, living temporarily outside of places of everyday life” (Knafou and Stock, 2003); this entails taking into account a relation both to space and to time which also plays a role in the social functioning of memory and of its places.
Memory is far from absent in tourism studies, as can be seen in the growing number of works devoted to “going-back-to-your-roots tourism” (Fourcade, 2010), to “battlefield tourism” (Sharpley, Stone, 2009), or in a totally different register, by those who inquire into the memory of the tourist experience. These examples, which for some reflect “the increase as much in the various uses of the memory, as in the phenomena intuitively designated by the notion” (Lavabre, 2000), bear witness to the diversity of possible approaches apparent in the study of the links between tourism and the various modes of reconstructing the past.

The link between tourism and memory can thus be understood by considering memory either as a notion (designating the faculty to recall what one has seen, what one has learnt, the aptitude to reconstruct and restore the past, the mental representation of the past) or as a social phenomenon (referring to various socialised forms of the presence of the past, to multiple mobilisations of the past, a memory which is “regularly turned into an issue or a virtue” (Lavabre, 2000) by various actors). Thus, one of the stakes in exploring the link between tourism and memory lies in its very topicality, as memory has become such a social issue, if not an injunction never to forget—especially in terms of the darkest pages of the history of societies (“duty of remembrance”: Lalieu, 2001).

Linking tourism to memory as a social concern related to the social customs of the past means inquiring into the multiple political dimensions of tourism, for example by reassessing its role in the production of “places of memory” (Nora, 1984), a role often neglected by a historical approach. Thus, a hypothesis to explore would be that of the interactive organic link created between tourism and memory. Such a link can be seen today as consubstantial with the definition of a place of memory in the context of a well-established move towards increased heritage industry. In other words, can places of memory exist without visitors? And without tourists (the student population which visits many places of memory is not counted as tourism per se), to what extent does the question of visitors help to define these places in a context in which tourist movements and “currents of memory” are becoming more and more global (Ricoeur, 2000)? How, by whom and depending on what stakes are “destinations of memory” (MacCannell, 1989) produced, and what are the practices and imaginaries associated with them?
One of the aims of this call is to attempt to clarify variously mobilised categories: “memorial tourism” (Urbain, 2003), “pilgrimage tourism” or even “dark tourism” (Lennon, Foley, 2000), referring to subject fields, imaginaries and practices which are related yet different. And one of the issues of this clarification is also to inquire into the validity of the recent rush to develop sites and places into memorials open to tourists. One may in fact entertain serious doubts as to the true memorial aspect of some sites (which amounts to inquiring more carefully into the differences between history, memories and memory) and one may also reflect upon the conditions which allow for the appropriation of true places of memory namely through a tourist experience. At the same time, one may also wonder to what extent places of memory may not be, above all, places of the darkest pages of human history, thus running the risk of rendering the notion banal: does the embodiment of memory in certain places function mainly, preferentially or even exclusively through memories of tragic events which tourist development recognizes, maintains and/or exploits?
Beyond these considerations, this call for papers is an attempt to investigate how tourism can be considered as a condition for the “socialised production of memories” held in common, in other words, for the construction of a “collective memory” (Halbwachs, 1994, Namer, 2000)—without referring exclusively to the idea of a nation (Nora). Seen as the search for a co-presence (Equipe MIT, 2011), how does tourism give rise to “the interpenetration of consciousnesses” which underlies collective memory, considered as a “meeting place” by the historian Roger Bastide, in his review of Halbwachs’ theory in 1970? The link between tourism and memory thus invites one to explore various means of transmission at work in tourist practices: how the “taste” for certain destinations is transmitted within families, from generation to generation, or within social or community groups (within the same professional circle for example). What memory springs are triggered? If, as P. Nora reminds us, “there are as many memories as groups”, to what degree can a diversified tourist population contribute to making the nature of places of memory evolve? And how can detailed knowledge of the composition of tourist attendance help one to understand what is occurring on different planes, be they of history, of memory, of heritage or of one’s relationship to places?

The following are possible (but not exclusive) themes:

- Topicality of the question of the link between tourism and memories
- Epistemological framing of the notion of memory, from the point of view of social sciences, beyond the relationship between history and memory, or philosophy and memory, which have already been explored in depth; scientific issues involved in the question, depending on the discipline
- History of “memorial tourism(s)”, related in particular to the widening social base of tourists (cf. Braasch, 2008) – social-cultural, political and economic stakes, actors and structures
- Role of tourism in producing a place of memory, role of memorial mobilisations in inventing tourist sites – Role of memory in a typology of tourist sites and of tourism in a typology of places of memory – Critical typology of memorial institutions (memorials, museums, etc.) on the scale of territories, depending on different attendance rates
- Links between tourist practices, individual memories and collective memories
- Back-to-one’s-roots tourism: practices, representations, imaginaries
- Constructing memories from one’s tourist experience – tourism and transmission

Multidisciplinary approaches.


- Articles are to be sent before 31st July 2012, for online publication in 2012; articles on this theme can be sent up until 15th October, for online publication at the beginning of 2013
- Articles will be returned to contributors before 25 October 2012
- Articles which have been accepted will be published online from 1st Decembre 2012, after they have been translated
- Send articles to: redaction@viatourismreview.net

Any article accepted by the Editorial Board will be translated into two other languages besides the one the article was originally written in.


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Braasch B., 2008,
Major Concepts in Tourism Research – Memory, PhD candidate Centre for Tourism and Cultural Change, Faculty of Arts and Society Leeds Metropolitan University.
Equipe MIT, 2011,
Tourismes 3. La révolution durable, Paris, Belin.
Fourcade M.-B., 2010, « Tourisme des racines »,
Téoros, 29-1.
Halbwachs M., 1994,
Les cadres sociaux de la mémoire, Paris, Albin Michel (Alcan, 1925).
Halbwachs M., 1997,
La mémoire collective, Paris, Albin Michel.
Knafou R. & Stock M., 2003, « Tourisme », in Lévy J. & Lussault M. (dir.),
Dictionnaire de la géographie et de l’espace des sociétés, Paris, Belin, 931-934.
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Critique Internationale, n°7, 48-57.
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MacCannell D., 1989, « Introduction : Semiotic of Tourism »,
Annals of Tourism Research, 16, 1-6.
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La mémoire, l’histoire, l’oubli, Paris, Seuil.
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The darker side of travel, Cleveland UK, Channel View.
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