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The Centre for the Study of Global Human Movement


What is the role of the voyager? From the realm of the imaginary and the imagined voyage on through to a real collaboration for sustainable tourism with a quick stop involving the changing nature of the site of human movement along the way, this seminar will hear the work from three researchers focusing on the question of mobility to better understand the nature of tourism as a form of human movement and what role the voyager plays in this movement.

Please register here to attend the seminar.


Mobilities: The Dialectic relation between Reality and Imaginary

Dr Kristina t'Felt, Lector at University of Montpellier and University Le Havre

Actually, we live fully the “civilisation of image” (defined by Gilbert Durand) and no one can be unaware of images of another culture. The sources of the cultural images, constructed mentally, are evolutive and various (Medias, Internet, touristic products, travel testimonial, dreams, creative thoughts), but the « reflexive » Self (Antony Giddens) assigns differentiated values to the sources (e.g. giving more value to a travel testimonial than to a commercial information).

This dynamic process of construction, deconstruction and reconstruction of the imaginary is significant when the individual travel herself/himself. The three temporalities of the travel are interconnected: the travel is first imagined, second lived and third told producing iconic images and evaluating mental images. The Otherness experienced through direct relation with an unknown object/subject can make the individual-traveller live a noetic experience; she/he can perceive a “new vision of the world” in a dynamic temporality with a moment before distinctive (n) from the moment after (n'). Thus, the experiences Elsewhere can provide a noetic function for the individual facing Other proposals of being depending on the conditions of the travel. The traveller moves in a space-time “open” for the possibilities of noetic experiences in relation with an object/subject while the tourist navigates in a “closed” space-time - orchestrated by the tourism sector who limit these experiences in the aim of profitability. Nevertheless, any person can enter into dialogue with the Otherness, in a temporality likely to change the imaginary, the perception of reality, or even change her/himself.

Bio: Kristina t’Felt’s is Lector in Sociology at the University of Montpellier and the University Le Havre in France. She is a member of the Research centre 2L2S Lorraine and member of the thematic group Sociology of Knowledge at the French Association of Sociology. Her research in date examines the significations of mobilities. One of the answers, establishing the fundamental problem of her PhD in Sociology, is the constancy of the noetic function when being Elsewhere. Meeting the Other and his Culture can be source of inspiration, pleasure, indifference or refusal. The intercultural aspect in the interactions between host and guest as for the nature of the hospitality are essential components in the potential development of the Self Elsewhere. This conceptual frame can be applied to the two forms of mobilities: travel and migration.


Tourism, Collaboration and the SDGs

Prof. Dr. Dr. Janne Liburd, Professor and Director of the Centre for Tourism, Innovation and Culture at the University of Southern Denmark

Tourism is a phenomenon and exemplar of global human movement, which provide an excellent lens through which one can critically understand contemporary society and begin to imagine more sustainable, desirable futures. Tourism captures the fundamental interdependence between human behaviour, regions and socio-economic activities, whereby tourism becomes a potential contributor to the broader societal aims of sustainable development – or not. The UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) captures the insufficiency of more sustainable accomplishments for people, planet, peace and prosperity. I criticize the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development for reverting to static notions of achieving sustainability through economic growth everywhere, by evoking (historically unequal) relations of cooperation and partnerships. I will introduce the concept of collaboration to expose how fuzzy problems, such as the SDGs, cannot be solved by business-as-usual, or relying on governments, single organisations or individuals to save the (tourism) world as we know it (Liburd, 2013 & 2018). Collaboration hinges on ethical and virtuous aspects, which must be other-regarding. This implies that one cannot expect oneself to be able to flourish without reciprocity and responsibility with others. I will provide examples of collaboration for sustainable tourism development in higher education and research and suggest a role for collaboration where there currently is none.

Bio: Dr. Janne Liburd is Professor and Director of the Centre for Tourism, Innovation and Culture at the University of Southern Denmark. She is a cultural anthropologist. Her research interests are sustainable tourism development, collaboration, national parks, innovation, higher education, and the being of the university. By two ministerial appointments, Janne Liburd is the Chairman of the UNESCO World Heritage Wadden Sea National Park (2015-2022). She served on the National Tourism Forum, charged with developing the first strategy for tourism in Denmark (2015-2018). She has published more than 100 peer reviewed articles and book chapters,


Underground Mobility: The Paris Catacombs from Migration to Tourism

Ian Boyd, PhD student in French at The University of Cambridge (Queens' College)

In the late eighteenth century, a growing Paris faced compounding issues of perceived urban decay and literal collapse. This research takes the case of the tunnels underneath the city of Paris and their impact on mobility to the French capital as a place of work, urban renewal, and eventually touristic visitation.

Bio: I am a PhD student in the French section of MMLL and a member of Queens' College. My research examines the material infrastructure of Paris in the late eighteenth century as it relates to the imagination of the city. My project probes the issue of a series of sinkholes in Paris during the last half of the eighteenth century as a focal point in the changing material and imaginary nature of the city. I explore the relationship between the material and imaginary of the city with mobility of migrant workers and tourists in early modern France.

Thursday, 11 March, 2021 - 14:00 to 15:30