Touristic Innovation? – Tourism in authoritarian regimes
The International Association for the History of Transport, Traffic and Mobility (T2M) invites proposals for papers to be presented at the Seventh International Conference on the History of Transport, Traffic and Mobility, to be held in Lucerne, Switzerland, 5-8 November 2009.
Although the term ‘innovation’ is commonly thought of in terms of technical and/or social progress, in its literal sense it only means the ‘further development of a situation’. Considering innovation in this neutral sense yields new approaches to tourism: failed and sometimes negative ‘inventions’ of tourist styles have a place. In an historical perspective developments can often be considered innovative, even if they harm people - as happened with touristic conditions in authoritarian regimes (such as Italian fascism, German national socialism and the socialist countries). This is especially given in regimes that are centrally organised, without much citizen participation. Modern tourism in democratic countries has developed on the basis of, amongst other things, individual leisure, health and education. Here, recreational aspects are legally considered, but the people these legal considerations affect are barely conscious of this element.
In dictatorships and other authoritarian regimes, tourism was/is a multipurpose activity, clearly influenced by state interests. For example, tourism within these societies can be subordinated to an economic primacy, used as a means of giving workers a break, to ensure they are efficient and productive when they return to work; and/or promoted as a symbol of the generosity of the authoritarian regime towards their people. Panel papers should address the innovative moment of such approaches to tourism. It is crucial that papers critically question the tourist potential of state tourism, and consider the (maybe unintended) side-effects and even the ‘collateral’ damage of state-forced tourism.
The panel especially invites transnational and comparative contributions, but is also interested in theoretical papers and case studies from different historical periods, countries and political systems.
For more detailed information on the conference itself, please see: http://www.t2m.org. The conference language is English (only). The deadline for abstracts and a short CV (max. 1 page each; word or rich text format only) is 10 April 2009. Please send proposals to Heike Wolter: firstname.lastname@example.org. I will forward all documents to T2M, with an overview of the panel, explaining why it matters and how each of the papers address the panel’s theme.
Notification of acceptance by T2M will be sent during the first half of May 2009. The full text of papers accepted must be submitted by 15 August 2009 if they are to be included on the conference CD-ROM sent in advance to all participants and if they are to be eligible for T2M Awards. Submission of a fully completed poster form (1 page A4) is mandatory for all speakers (further details will be given later on the conference website).
T2M especially invites younger scholars to participate in the conference. Travel grants are available for a limited number of PhD-students.
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