colloque international
20 au 22 juin 2016

Call for papers


Learning how to travel
Sensitizations, educations and touristic productions


The next conference of the Association for Tourism Research and Higher Education (AsTRES) wants to reflect on the complex links between tourism and education. The wealth of questions that have risen in recent scholarship on the understanding of touristic knowledge, its genesis and circulation, justifies bringing about a transdisciplinary gathering that aims at probing the perspectives of education science, geography, history, sociology, anthropology, economy, political science and sport studies.

We invite scholars to question the links between tourism and education, not only as an analytic inquiry, but also as a more critical and reflexive perspective.

As a globalized economic activity, tourism encourages both public and private actors to constantly renew products and imaginaries in order to stimulate new touristic practices, open new markets and develop territories. To expand its base, this market driven logic has naturally turned its focus on the transmission of touristic skills and perceptions. Education can therefore be seen as an enticement to consume skills (guiding, lessons…), equipements (in winter or water sports…) that can be associated to technologies (like e-tourism), and ultimately places.

The linkage between ethics and consumerism has paved the way to a set of “good practices”, for which we want to probe the material and ideational dimensions. Those questions relate to tools (charts, labels, sensitization campaigns, informational panels…) products (sustainable, solidarity, humanitarian or eco-tourism…) but also the social representations and values associated to the tourism experience, notably related to encounter, authenticity and freedom. We encourage combining these trails of research with a reflexive perspective on the thin line between fundamental research and expertise. Indeed, scholars are often summoned in outreach, environment preservation or impact reduction programs, and research could end up being used to define “good” tourist/m.

This work should lead us to interrogate the normative injunctions that structure the production of tourism, what they imply in terms of power relationships, inequality and domination. Who educates who? For what purpose? Since when, and from where? Such questions call for sociological, political and educational answers, but also a historical approach on the democratization of tourism. Critical perspectives on the terminologies (i.e. tourist vs. traveler) could be useful.


Thematic axes

- Education/sensitization to the “good” practices of tourism: for who and why?

What are the logics of the stakeholders and the power plays that dictate tourism’s norms, from the global (WTO, UNESCO…), the national (tourism as a media for nationalist ideology) to the local (communities, collectives…)? How do these actors become legitimate educators? What do these normative injunctions say about the power relations within the tourism sphere? Through which apparatuses are these norms established and how do they abide among tourists, between empowerment and infantilization? How do tourists maneuver when accepting, transforming, transmitting, transgressing or denying those norms? How have fragile environments (coasts, deserts or mountains) been experimental in the sensitization of tourists and the regulation of their practices?

- Learning to be a tourist.

To what extent is tourism a learning process? How is it a way of being, doing, and showing? How are touristic knowledge unevenly shared according to social, gendered, generational, racial or even able/disable divides? In that perspective, can tourism still be considered as an emancipating activity? We welcome proposals that cross tourism and subaltern studies. In that sense, is teaching tourism a tool of democratization, or rather a controlled and exclusive transmission of knowledge? Case studies on social clubs, associations, patronage committees, scouting or school trips will be prioritized. What methods can be used to analyze these learning processes, and to overcome the discourse of self-education, that tends to hide resources and favors exclusive sociabilities? Does giving access to tourism foster social justice, or promotes certain companies (for instance the partnership between the French Secours Populaire and food company Kinder) or territories?

- How does tourism inform the general education of our contemporary individualities?

Studies of the way some institutions make use of tourism as a way to tackle socialization, family, poverty or diseases are highly welcome. Tourism is also a distinctive practice from a career point of view: some touristic mobilities are features in curriculum-vitae (humanitarian tourism, linguistic visits). To what extend do the skills pertaining to tourism answer employers’ requirements at the age of global capitalism (adaptability, management of differences, multilingualism, mobility)? Equally, is tourism fostering a new kind of citizenship (“travelling for a cause”, eco-responsible tourism…).


Submission guidelines

Each proposal should include between 350 and 450 words. Please send your submission to Emmanuelle Peyvel ( no later than December 20, 2015.
We will notify contributors of acceptance by the 20th of February 2016.
The conference is planned between the 20th and the 22nd of June, at the University of Bretagne Occidentale, city of Quimper.

A nursery service can be organized for the participants who wish to come with their children. If you are interested, please let us know when submitting your proposal. Please also indicate the age of the children in June 2016.