MOBILITIES SEMINAR: Interrogating criticality in tourism analysis (1)

  • Date:
  • Time: 4-5.30pm

CRITICAL MOBILITIES THEORY SERIES

Seminar One: “The Tourism Archive as Economic and Intellectual Infrastructure: Notes on Train Maya, Mexico” (2 November 2021 @16:00-17:30)

Matilde Córdoba Azcárate Assistant Professor, Department of Communication, University of California, San Diego (mcazcarate@ucsd.edu).

Abstract: Tourism is a leading variable in the production and spatialization of history. Moreover, tourism practices and tourism infrastructures are themselves creating historical archives. They are not only selectively accumulating historical records -shaping them, emplacing them- but they are also doing so under particular compositional logics-extractive and predatory, non-disruptive. The talk presents the idea of the tourism archive for discussion. It tentatively defines it as an economic and intellectual infrastructure that whilst reinstating the coloniality of power might also be forging the possibilities for a stronger, transnationally driven platform of digital and communal neoliberal contestation in sites daunted by rapid urban growth, ecological neglect and cultural appropriation. The talk follows the transnational networks of knowledge production, financial capital, heritage restoration and Indigenous social activism that have emerged in and around Train Maya, a new state led mega-infrastructure development to attract yet more tourism to Southern Mexico. It uses a critical lens that denounces the abuses of the industry at the same time as it seeks for viable alternatives for transformation.

Discussants: M.E. Korstanje (Economics, University of Palermo, Argentina), Noel Salazar (Interculturalism, Migration and Minorities Research Centre, University of Leuven, Belgium), Mimi Sheller (Professor of Sociology, Inaugural Dean of The Global School at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Massachusetts, U.S.A), Manuel Ángel Santana Turégano, (Professor, Departamento de Sociología y Antropología, Universidad de La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain), Christine Lundberg (Professor of Tourism Management, The Norwegian School of Hotel Management, University of Stavanger, Norway), Vassilios Ziakas (Associate Professor in Sport & Event Management, University of St Mark and St John: Plymouth, Devon), Ilia Alvarado-Sizzo (Associate Researcher, Institute of Geography,  Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México).