RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2014

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389 Co-creating & Co-performing Tourism of Affects, Emotions, Feelings and Senses (1)
Affiliation Geographies of Leisure and Tourism Research Group
Convenor(s) Dorina Buda (University of Groningen, The Netherlands)
Bettina van Hoven (University of Groningen, The Netherlands)
Gareth Hoskins (Aberystwyth University, UK)
Chair(s) Dorina Buda (University of Groningen, The Netherlands)
Bettina van Hoven (University of Groningen, The Netherlands)
Gareth Hoskins (Aberystwyth University, UK)
Timetable Friday 29 August 2014, Session 3 (14:40 - 16:20)
Room Sherfield Building, Room 10
Session abstract “What do emotions do?” asks Sara Ahmed. Emotions, feelings, senses and affects are complex, slippery concepts. They shape, circulate between and connect bodies, they belong to individuals and to collectivities alike, they reside inside, within us and outwith when they are released outwards towards others defining the contours of different interpellated subjectivities. ‘Feelings-in-common’, collective feelings are brought about by impressions left by bodily others (Ahmed, 2004). Geographers argue that affects are intangible and ineffable yet a virtual force existing as a subsurface of latent bodily responses. Senses refer to those percepts that help tourists become aware of and interpret something through which meaning is given to the toured place. There is increasing interest in the sensuous in tourist studies (Crouch & Desforges, 2003), and our session seeks to further this interest considering connections between emotions, feelings, affects and senses in tourism. In this session, papers are invited that advance emotional, affectual and sensory geographies of tourism. Emotions, feelings, affects and senses cannot be divorced from one another and from the body, these take place within and around the body (Davidson & Milligan, 2004).

We encourage paper submissions to address the question: What do embodied emotions, feelings, senses and affects do in tourism? Submissions can examine individual emotions (fear, joy, happiness, pride, shame and the like), or senses working alone or in concert, or they can address more broadly theoretical and methodological co-creations and co-performances of emotions, feelings and senses in tourism studies.
Linked Sessions Co-creating & Co-performing Tourism of Affects, Emotions, Feelings and Senses (2)
Contact the conference organisers to request a change to session or paper details: AC2014@rgs.org
Bodies Exposed: Managing gendered and postcolonial ‘shame’ in backpacking travelling spaces.
Emily Falconer (London South Bank University, UK)
This paper is based on my PhD research (2007-2012) which explored the embodied and emotional experiences and reflections of women who engage in independent global travel or ‘backpacking’. The impact of this form of mobility significantly shapes the way in which women travellers manage their bodies and negotiate emotions through encounters with other people and objects within transient travel spaces. There has been limited research that draws together knowledge from tourist studies with feminist theories on the (material) body, the politics of affect and emotion, and the changing role of sexuality.
This paper will specifically focus on moments of embodied shame evoked by particular encounters which expose the visibility of women’s bodies. Women travellers register shame through embodied recognition of past encounters and social histories (Ahmed 2004), and struggle to justify these emotions and identities as travellers. Applying the theoretical works of Ahmed (2004a, 2004b) and Probyn (2004, 2005) is useful to review how the cultural politics of shame can intersect with postcolonial encounters in travelling spaces, and how in turn this develops existing tourist literature on the geographies of fear and sexual harassment in the gendered tourist experience. The overall narrative of this paper contends that the emotional process of shame in tourism must be understood through a combination of key factors: the material body, external atmospheres and affects, embodied histories and memories, and socio-political localities. A closer look at what embodied shame does can help us understand how these encounters are continually shaped by gendered, racial and postcolonial power relations.
The "integrity of feeling": the emotional production of historic places in the United States
Gareth Hoskins (Aberystwyth University, UK)
This paper investigates how the emotional repertoire of places get mapped out in the very act of saving them from demolition. The "integrity of feeling" is an expression used by historic preservationists to define a quality that needs to be present in a place if that place is to qualify for entry into the US National Register of Historic Places or National Historic Landmark program. It is the most awkwardly articulated aspect of a place's "significance" and one of the most intriguing. The paper examines how feelings of "pastness" become incorporated into the assessment and selection of places put forward by nominating authorities as candidates for listing. Integrity of feeling is one of the many ways emotion features in the preservation endeavour but it is one of the few areas where the currency of emotion as an epistemology avoids being obscured by the technicalities of planning law and the imperative for "objective" and "neutral" decision making. Integrity of feeling is, rather, a discrete and obvious quality of place that is easy to detect if not accurately describe. I draw together empirical material from drive-along interviews with State Historic Preservation Officers, planning-centred focus groups, and site visits in Washington D.C, with textual analysis of National Landmark 'statements of significance' to examine this integrity of feeling, its variety and how it functions to generate and constrain historically designated places in particular ways.
Belize Blues
Kenneth Little (York University, Canada)
You can’t mistake this blue. The azure blue of the Caribbean Sea has been the seductive, tropical growth colour of Belize for at least the past twenty years. It is the impact colour of postcolony Caribbean tourism capital with a structure of feeling that incites forms, attunements, and emergent worlds. At one and the same time, it is a breezy turquoise blue conjuring paradise. For locals it is the ambivalent, fraught and dissipating colour of precarity mixed with a hustle and laughter that fills Belize coastal villages with the dynamic sensations of possible fortune and futurity that back-talks privation and local tradition for something that recalibrates the social, the citizen and the sovereign nation. And for expats this blue acts is an incitement for “crying the blues” as the seductions of a tourist “all blues” begins to blend into things in the wrong way and conjures a dream gone bad, “happy object” attachments that feel frayed and fractious, a paradise optimism turned mean and nasty and that rubs the senses raw. This paper tracks how three scenes of blue throw themselves together as potentializing forces creating moments when assemblages of incommensurate things, exchanges, linkages, sensations, and publics compose themselves as affective atmospheres, as some co-constitution of things that begins to feel like something. It is to the daily rhythms and the attachments to scenes and objects of desire that sustain life in a coastal village that has gone crazy for tourism, and about how blue takes material and imaginative form in the way it pulls some assortment of forces, events, sensibilities, and materialities into alignment to become nervously generative of the textures and rhythms of living in such a place. What are the emergent political imaginaries and affects of blue compositions that might become thinkable and sensed through a sustained engagement with the seductive and recalcitrant materiality of that colour?
Towards a multisensory phenomenology: Enlivening Interrail Mobilities
Martin Trandberg Jensen (Aalborg University, Denmark)
Phenomenology has informed studies on tourist experiences for decades. Drawing upon social constructionism in particular, studies have utilised interviews and deconstruction to explore the apparent essences of meaningful experiences. Recently however, tourism research has seen a new interest towards matters of affect, embodiment as well as the non-representational, which opens up new rich opportunities for phenomenological enquiry. This paper seeks to merge phenomenology with epistemological and methodological aspirations in recent cultural geography and performative tourism research to ventilate some of the predispositions often carried with phenomenological research. Based upon an under researched, yet historically significant, travel phenomenon, interrailing, we provide an innovative reading of a highly situated phenomenology aligned to the multisensory, materially- informed and practise-led components of lived experiences. Accordingly to demonstrate our argument, insights from multi-sited ethnographic work are used to illustrate how phenomenology can be further developed through the injection of non-representational concerns, as well as multimedia- based and impressionistic modes of rendition, hereby seeking to compliment the wave of socially constructed, symbolically appropriated and textually represented accounts.