Together with Joseph M. Cheer from Wakayama University and Benjamin Lucca Iaquinto from the University of Hong Kong, I am organizing a session on ‘Biopolitics and the geographies of tourism’ at the Nordic Geographers Meeting, which will be held in Joensuu, Finland
next year (7-10 Feb 2022) 19-22 June, 2022.
All abstracts can be submitted here: https://www.ngm2022.fi/registration/
The meeting will be held in person. More information about the meeting can be found here: https://www.ngm2022.fi
Biopolitics and the Geographies of Tourism
Organizers: Maartje Roelofsen, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Joseph M. Cheer, Wakayama University and Benjamin Lucca Iaquinto, University of Hong Kong
Chair: Maartje Roelofsen, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya
This session wishes to bring together and explore scholarship on the geographies of tourism approached from a biopolitical perspective. Whilst the “management of bodies” has always been a constitutive part of tourism and its spatialities, the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted the emergence of entirely new states of exception and emergency regimes, geared towards tight restrictions and control over the mobility and embodied practices of millions of travellers and tourists. Debates in tourism over the “politics of life”, now more than ever, concern health and wellbeing at the level of the individual and population, not in the least because tourism has provided in many instances the socio-spatial conditions for the virus to spread. Yet, whilst tourism infrastructures such as hotels and cruise ships have functioned as vectors of the virus, they have also become essential spaces for quarantine and containment. Relatedly, this global crisis has provoked discussion on new forms of intervention imposed on bodily conduct and the associated practices of surveillance exercised by authorities and industry.
In this session, we invite both conceptual and empirical papers that incorporate biopolitics as a form of analytics. We encourage both a re-visitation of classical biopolitical approaches to tourism, as well as re-imaginations of biopolitics (conceptually and politically) that foreground forms of affirmative ethics. We also welcome papers that push beyond anthropocentric understandings of biopolitics and reflect on how the biopolitical operates on/with more-than-human lives in tourism. Examples could include the bio- and necropolitical dimensions of conservation-based tourism, or, the entanglements of pathogens, environments and tourists in biosecurity regimes. Moreover, what role will digital technologies play in the reconfiguration of relationships between hosts and guests and the related spaces and practices of hospitality? And more generally, in this session, we would like to think through how a biopolitical lens is useful to analyse practices and regimes of mobility, security, in/exclusion in the context of tourism. Particularly but not exclusively in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.