LOCATING IMAGINATION: POPULAR CULTURE, TOURISM, AND BELONGING
APRIL 5-7, 2017
ERASMUS UNIVERSITY ROTTERDAM

Keynote Speakers:
David Morley
André Jansson
Marie-Laure Ryan

The call for papers is now closed. If you would like to attend the conference, please email conference@locatingimagination.com for registration options.

When the small Dutch seaside village of Urk was announced as a filming location for superstar director Christopher Nolan’s historical drama Dunkirk, featuring One Direction star Harry Styles and other big names, it was unsurprising that reports of fans traveling in hopes of catching a glimpse of the production followed. Indeed, it would have been more surprising if they hadn’t. Visiting places connected to media is increasingly mainstream – from searching for film locations of popular TV shows to taking part in literary walking tours to traveling around summer music festivals. Popular culture sets the touristic identity of regions, while fan conventions and festivals draw increasing numbers (and prices) year after year. These developments, and others like them, point to a growing interest in bridging the gap between reality and imagination through physicality, intertwining them in new ways. They also illustrate new ways in which place, and its role in creating a sense of identity and belonging, matters in a globalized and digital world in which popular culture plays an integral role.

This conference brings together these disparate threads and explores the ways in which popular culture and tourism interact in the contemporary media age. This is reflected in the keynote speakers: Professor David Morley of Goldsmiths University, author of many influential works of media theory, including The Nationwide Audience (1980) and Media, Modernity, and Technology: the Geography of the New (2007); Professor André Jansson of Karlstad University, author of editor of Geographies of Communication: The Spatial Turn in Media Studies (2006, with Jesper Falkheimer) and author of Cosmopolitanism and the Media: Cartographies of Change (2015, with Miyase Christensen); and Dr. Marie-Laure Ryan, scholar-in-residence at the University of Colorado Boulder, author of Narrative as Virtual Reality: Immersion and Interactivity in Literature and Electronic Media (2000) and Narrating Space/Spatializing Narrative: Where Narrative Theory and Geography Meet (2016, with Kenneth Foote and Maoz Azaryahu).

The conference will also feature a special session on Fandom and Place, bringing together experts in the field to address the contemporary issues at this complex juncture. Our invited guests are Professor Cornel Sandvoss of the University of Huddersfield, author of Fans: The Mirror of Consumption (2005); Professor Matt Hills of the University of Huddersfield, author of Fan Cultures (2002); and Dr. Mark Duffett of the University of Chester, author of Popular Music Fandom: Identities, Roles, and Practices (2013).

We seek to bring together scholars across disciplines, including, but not limited to, media studies, literary studies, popular music studies, ethnomusicology, cultural geography, fan studies, and tourism studies and management, who work at the intersections of (popular) culture, place, and tourism. We invite papers that address all themes around this subject, such as:

- fan pilgrimages
- place identity and popular culture
- contemporary literary tourism
- music tourism
- historical media tourism
- themed and simulated spaces
- music festivals
- video-game-inspired tourism
- media and fan conventions
- transmedia marketing and tourism
- place and storytelling
- media tourism in the media

The conference will be held at Erasmus University Rotterdam, in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Recently chosen as one of the “best places to visit” by Lonely Planet and the New York Times, Rotterdam is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city featuring cutting-edge architecture, an innovative dining scene, and top-class art museums. The conference is organized by the ‘Locating Imagination’ research group of prof. dr. Stijn Reijnders, Leonieke Bolderman, Nicky van Es, and Abby Waysdorf, and sponsored by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and the Erasmus Research Centre for Media, Communication and Culture (ERMeCC).

 

Kind Regards,

The organizers of Locating Imagination 2017:

Stijn Reijnders, Abby Waysdorf, Nicky van Es and Leonieke Bolderman