[URBANTH-L] CFP: Tourism Landscapes and Luxury Consumption in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean (UK)

Angela Jancius jancius at ohio.edu
Sat May 17 16:11:06 EDT 2008

 Conference announcement

Tourism Landscapes and Luxury Consumption in the
Caribbean and the Mediterranean
Institute for Advanced Studies @ Lancaster University
11th and 12th of September 2008

Conference organised by the Departamento de Análisis Geográfico Regional
y Geografía Física, Facultad de Geografía e Historia. UCM, Spain
Departamento de Antropología Social, Facultad de CC. Políticas y Sociología. 
UCM, Spain
and 'mediterranean mobilities' - CeMoRe, Lancaster University, UK

Keynote speakers:
   Jonathan V. Beaverstock, University of Nottingham, UK
   Ghislain Dubois, advisor to UNEP Blue Plan and IPCC. Limoges University, 
   Pau Obrador, Sunderland University, UK
   Rothanti Tzanelli, Leeds University, UK
   Ana García Silberman, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico (tbc)
   Mimi Sheller, Swathmore University, USA (tbc)
   John Urry, Centre for Mobilities Research, UK.

Signs of conspicuous ostentation proliferate along Caribbean and 
Mediterranean landscapes. Megayatchs, private islands, ultra-expensive 
mansions, luxury hotels, and exclusive restaurants and country clubs speak 
of the prominence these regions are gainning in the transnational lifestyles 
of the super-rich.
Luxury has been no stranger to places like Antigua, Belize, Bahamas, 
Barbados, Saint Tropez, Mallorca, or Monte Carlo in the 20th century. Yet 
the scale and geographical scope of recent developments are a reflection of 
the rapid polarisation of wealth in the last two decades and the rising 
number of individuals engrossing the lists of the multi-millionaire, 
mega-rich and billionaire (increase of 200,000 people in 2003 totalling 7.3 
million globally).
Social scientists are beginning to map out the spaces and practices of the 
super-rich in metropolitan areas of industrial countries and examine their 
significance in altering city landscapes. Understanding these mobile elites 
requires also a closer escrutiny of their transnational lifestyles and the 
constelation of places interconnected through their consumption patterns. 
This workshop will examine luxury consumption in the Caribbean and the 
Mediterranean paying particular attention to the wider social, economic and 
environmental implications of elite lifestyles and their role in 
articulating flows of people, images, fantasies, objects and money.

The Caribbean and the Mediterranean are particularly interesting areas for 
the study of the new high-earners. The democratisation of tourism in the 
postwar period partially eclypsed their earlier image as playgrounds of 
elite consumption and witnessed the emergence of discourses about their 
environmental destruction in the hands of herd-like tourists. Today their 
image of places spoiled by mass tourism co-exists in stark contrast with 
landscaped enclavic resorts evoking a sense of distinction and ecology. This 
should not be seen as a completely new trend. Mass tourism has always 
involved a paradoxical combination of narratives about accessibility and the 
democratization of travel along with unavoidable rounds of distinction 
games. Yet an interesting question in the age of the risk society and global 
resource scarcity is the way in which the rising aspirations and 'luxury 
fever' of the middle classes animated by the extravagant lifestyles of the 
super-rich are being negotiated with concerns about environmental limits.

We invite papers and presentations on such topics as:
- Cultures and practices of elite consumption in the Caribbean and the 
Mediterranean from a historical perspective;
- Manifestations of the 'luxury fever' among middle classes in mass resorts 
today and historically;
- Changing perceptions of the 'mass' element in mass tourism in relation 
with elite consumption;
- New de- and re-naturalizations of landscapes taking place around elite 
- Media representations of luxury tourism;
- Effects of ostentation in cultures of hospitality and, more specifically, 
on the solidarities these conspicuous lifestyles are enabling or hindering 
among the 'ordinary' people;
- Significance of the consumer spaces and practices of the super-rich in 
articulating global flows of people, objects, money and ideas;
- Infrastructures enabling the transnational lifestyles of the super rich;
- Methodological challenges of researching the residential and consumer 
spaces/practices of the super-rich.
Abstracts should include a title, contact details of the author(s) (name, 
postal address, email), and a summary of no more than 300 words. Please 
submit abstracts to the organisers no later than the 1th of July.
The Workshop will be held in the Institute for Advanced Studies Meeting 
Rooms 2/3 at Lancaster University on 11-12 September. The event will run 
from 12 noon on the 11th to 4pm on the 12th. There are a limited number of 
places so please book soon to avoid disappointment.

The regular registration fee is £50 and the unwaged registration fee is £25 
to include all meeting costs, lunch in both days and tea/coffee. There will 
be a dinner in Lancaster on the night of the 11th (not covered by the 
registration fees). Please let us know if you would like to attend. If 
required, a range of overnight accommodation is available at own cost on 
campus and in Lancaster. Please visit the following link for registration
and contact Pennie Drinkall for any queries related with registration - 
p.drinkall at lancaster.ac.uk

We hope to see you in September.

Javier Caletrío j.caletrio at lancaster.ac.uk
Matilde Córdoba Azcárate   m.cordoba at cps.ucm.es

 Co-sponsored by the CeMoRe - Centre for Mobilities Research 
and the IAS - Institute for Advanced Studies 

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