Session CFP: "Rethinking Pilgrimage, Seduction and Difference" for the conference, "Tourism and Seductions of Difference" (10-12 Sept. 2010, Lisbon)

Session CFP: Rethinking Pilgrimage, Seduction and Difference

Special session for the Conference, “Tourism and Seductions of Difference”

1st Tourism-Contact-Culture Research Network Conference

Lisbon, Portugal – 10-12 Sept 2010

Session Premise

Pilgrimage is perhaps the most emotional, most seductive of touristic interactions; it is known to generate intense feelings of ecstasy and transcendence, self-inflicted suffering and penitential pain. Drawing on Eliade and van Gennep, Victor and Edith Turner considered pilgrimage in terms of structuralist binaries, as predicated on difference: Pilgrimage, they argued, is a movement from profane to sacred; from periphery to center (or vice-versa); from quotidianity to liminality. Complicating their notions of difference is V. Turner’s assertion that pilgrimage, by its very nature, creates communitas, a sensation of human commonality that transcends the daily differences inherent in social structure. However, critics of this assessment, particularly Eade and Sallnow, argue that difference is actually intensified during pilgrimage, as various individuals and
communities utilize pilgrimage for asserting social status claims, for generating economic profit at others’ expense, or for political purposes. Pilgrimage sites, too, employ a variety of symbols to differentiate “true”
pilgrims from secular travelers; the most well-known, of course, is the “passport” carried by Caministas on the way to Santiago de Compostela, which entitle them to nearly free lodging along the way, special blessings upon arrival, and an official certificate to take back home.

Pilgrimage research has also contributed to complexifying the academic study of tourism. Graburn and others have utilized the Turners’ binaries to productively analyze the “secular ritual” of touristic encounters. Analyzing different cultures’ conceptualization of pilgrimage as “contemplation while viewing,” Di Giovine has linked Turner/Graburn, and Urry’s famous “tourist gaze”—itself predicated on difference, on separating out the picturesque from the mundane. Yet as Crick pointed out long ago, while pilgrimage is a time-honored topic of scientific investigation, there remains a general apprehension in academia to fully engage in tourism research.

This special session is envisioned to both complement and call into question common ways of thinking about the conference theme—tourism and the seductions of difference—by exploring, unpacking, and
critically rethinking the established analytical premises concerning the intersections of pilgrimage and tourism, the relationship between seductive emotions and pilgrimage, and the contested binaries commonly employed to analyze pilgrimage as a ritual structure.

Suggested Themes

In addition to the themes suggested in the conference’s general CFP, suggested subject matter for this panel include, but are not limited to:

  • Phenomenologies of tourism and pilgrimage: similarities, differences, methodological intersections; secular pilgrimages/religious tourism
  • Communitas, social structure, and difference
  • Sacred vs. profane geographies, practices, discourses in pilgrimage sites
  • “Profanity” and illicit activities at sacred sites
  • Emotion, devotion, and seduction in pilgrimage
  • Suffering, salvation, penance in pilgrimage discourses and practice
  • Cross-cultural / comparative pilgrimage practices
  • Political economy of pilgrimage sites, site management, revitalization/development, heritage designations
  • Reconceptualizing pilgrimage: new theories and methods for the study of pilgrimage

Publication Possibilities

As with all accepted conference papers, there will likely be several publication possibilities, in addition to conference proceedings. Furthermore, it is hoped that this special session can provide the core of a possible edited volume based on the conference theme, “seductions of difference.”

Conference CFP: “Tourism and Seductions of Difference”

Please find below a CFP for TOURISM AND SEDUCTIONS OF DIFFERENCE, an international conference jointly organised by the Tourism-Contact-Culture Research Network (TOCOCU), the Centre for Tourism and Cultural Change (CTCC) at Leeds Metropolitan University, and the Centre for
Anthropological Research in Portugal (CRIA).

The conference will take place at the New University of Lisbon, in Lisbon, Portugal, 10-12 September 2010. The deadline to submit abstracts is 20 March 2010. In addition to the general CFP, a number of special interest panels are being proposed as part of the event (with a different deadline; see below). Please find updated information about the conference at

As tourism research spreads into the social sciences, the aim of this Conference is to bring together social scientists studying tourism and related social phenomena from different disciplinary perspectives. The focus on ‘seductions of difference’ tackles one of the central ontological premises of tourism, the relations to ‘Others’ – people, spaces, times, objects – and the way in which these enable the constitution and maintenance of Selves. Tourists travel to, and through, spaces ‘different’ from those they inhabit most
of the time. They voluntarily expose their bodies to different environments, ingest different foods, live in a different temporality, and meet different people. Many authors have studied how such differences are socially construed, how people, temporalities and places are experienced and brought into being
through the perceptive realms of the journey, but also through the political agendas of stakeholders acting within the field of tourism planning and cultural policy. The cultural history of tourism indicates that tourists are ‘drawn in’ by certain types of places – forests, mountains, rivers, churches and religious
shrines, stately homes and palaces, ancient monuments, ruins, waterfalls, seashores, countrysides, islands, cities, etc. Some psychologists, for instance, have observed how some places – such as Florence,
Jerusalem, or Paris – trigger quasi-Stendhalian epiphanies among certain tourists who often do not seem to share more than a common nationality. Who, or what are they seduced by? What constitutes this arousal?
How do tourists learn what to be seduced by? How is the tourist experience and the temptation to travel culturally framed? What can these attractions tell us about the moral order of tourism and modern culture? How are forms of local, ethnic, gender and national self being worked and shaped in the contact zones of
tourism? How are tourist attractions assembled to entice tourists? Seduction is no isolated act but always has some form of consequence and usually demands compensation. In the same vein, touristic consumption is not free, and in different senses implies forms of expected reciprocity. What are the moral obligations of those who lure tourists to a symbolic death by singing a siren song? How are tourists resuscitated, and how do they buy their freedom? What are the threats and consequences of seducing tourists? What happens when tourists seduce? How does tourism seduce all sorts of people and who rejects seduction? What kinds of society result from tourism?


Along with studies on methodological issues in tourism research, we welcome papers that address issues related to the theme of the conference. Indicative topics of interest include:

- Seduction as ontological work: maintaining identity, socialising time and space, others

- Formations of seduction: social assemblages, contact cultures, attractions

- Fields of seduction: gender, houses, heritages, nations, territories, classes

- Mediums of seduction: texts, bodies, arts, architectures, foods and natures

- Techniques of seduction: performance, flirtation, enticement, friendship, magic, concealment

- Emotions of seduction: temptations, transgressions, ingestions, emancipations

- Threats of seduction: spoliation, contamination, exclusion, death, degradation

- Politics of seduction: hospitality, containment, kinship, power

- Moralities of seduction: values, reciprocity, obligations, co-habitation

- Consequences of seduction: mobilities, cosmopolitanisms, world society


To propose a paper, please send a 250 word abstract including title and full contact details to The Call for Papers for this event will initially be open until 20 March 2010. Late abstracts may be considered. All abstracts will be peer-reviewed by the academic committee.


There is also an option to submit papers to SPECIAL INTEREST PANELS organised as part of the conference.
These panels work as double or triple sessions (6 or 9 papers) and are fully integrated to the general conference programme. While thematically connected to the overall conference theme, these panels aim to deepen a particular theoretical or thematic aspect, or explore new ideas or hypothesis. The organisation of these special interest panels is semi-autonomous; each has its own panel director(s) and most have launched their own call for papers. The deadline for submitting abstracts (150 words + full contact details of authors - directly sent to the panel directors) to these special interest panels may be after the deadline for the general call for papers. More details and information at our website.

List of Special Interest Panels:

1. Slumming: Tourism and the Seductive Marginal (Panel directed by Fabian Frenzel, Bristol, and Ko
Koens, LeedsMet, UK)

2. Seductions of History: Visitors’ Motives and Experiences in Historical Destinations (Panel directed by Luis Silva, CRIA / FCSH-Universidade Nova de Lisboa)

3. Seducing Bodies (Panel directed by Valerio Simoni, CRIA-ISCTE, Lisbon, Portugal)

4. Rethinking Pilgrimage, Seduction and Difference (Panel directed By Michael A. Di Giovine, Dept of Anthropology, University of Chicago, discussant Regina Bendix, Univ Goettingen, Germany)

5. Borders, Unfamiliarity and (Im)mobilities (Panel directed by Bas Spierings, Urban and Regional Research Centre Utrecht, Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University)

6. Seducing Wilderness (Panel directed by Dennis Zuev, CIES-ISCTE, Lisbon, Portugal)

7. Cartographies of Seduction: Tourism, Objects and Places (Panel directed by Filipa Fernandes, ISCSP - Universidade Tecnica de Lisboa, Portugal)

8. Seductions of Ugliness (Panel directed by Tamas Regi, CTCC, Leeds Met, UK and David Picard, CRIA-UNL, Lisbon, Portugal).


Fully revised papers accepted at the conference will be published in the conference proceedings (ISBN referred
electronic format with international distribution). We are also exploring opportunities to publish an edited book and special issues of peer reviewed academic journals based on a selection of papers (developed into full articles). More info on this shall be available shortly after the event.


Carina Amaral and David Picard

Conference email:



CRIA/FCSH-Universidade Nova de Lisboa

Lisbon, Portugal

CTCC, Leeds Metropolitan University,

Leeds, United Kingdom

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