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Traditions and Transformations – Jordan

July 7, 2008

Forthcoming International Conference: Traditions and Transformations: Tourism, Heritage and Cultural Change in the Middle East and North Africa Region

4 – 7 April 2009, Amman, The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
Tourism is a well established phenomenon across the Middle East and North Africa  (MENA)
Region and despite  political instabilities it demonstrates remarkable resilience. As well as being a major economic force and a key driver for development, tourism is also an important mechanism for social exchange and identity building at both the individual and regional/national levels. Over recent years the rate of tourism development has increased substantively. Multi-national investments in hotels, resort complexes and infrastructure, together with major heritage conservation projects are catalysing significant social changes (such as shifting patterns of labour migration and the testing of ‘traditional’ values and practices), environmental changes (at the aesthetic level and in terms of physical change), and political changes (re-orientation of alliances and new globalised relationships).
The aims of this major international and multi-disciplinary conference are: To critically explore the major issues facing the MENA region with regard to the development of tourism and its relationships with heritage and culture; To draw upon ideas, cases and best practice from international scholars and help develop new understandings and research capacities regarding the relationships between tourism, heritage and culture in the MENA Region and; To provide a major networking opportunity for international scholars, policy makers and professionals.
In this major conference we seek to examine the phenomenon of tourism across the Middle East and North Africa Region and its changing relationships with heritage and culture. We wish to promote dialogue across disciplinary boundaries and thus we welcome papers from the following disciplines: anthropology, archaeology, architecture, art and design history, cultural geography, cultural studies, ethnology and folklore, history, heritage studies, landscape studies, linguistics, museum studies, political science, sociology, tourism studies and urban/spatial planning.
Key themes of interest to the conference include:
Histories, mobilities, and the symbolic / political economies of tourism
Tourism in the construction of places / spaces / nations
The role of archaeology in contemporary tourism
Structures / infrastructures of international tourism – building/ architecture/ design  for tourism & tourists
Tourism and the role of the museum
The conservation of heritage for tourism
The practices and performances of ‘tradition’
Tourist art and art for tourists
Intangible heritage and its role in tourism
Rural and urban tourism practices 
Conference Organisers: Centre for Tourism and Cultural Change, Leeds Metropolitan University, United Kingdom, and the Council for British Research in the Levant, Amman, Jordan.

Please submit a 300 word abstract including title and full contact details as an electronic file to Prof Mike Robinson ( You may submit your abstract as soon as possible but no later than 17th October 2008.

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