NEW Call for Papers on the theme of ‘Critical Thinking in Tourism Studies’ for Tourism, Culture and Communication

Dear colleagues,

We are pleased to announce a NEW Call for Papers on the theme of ‘Critical Thinking in Tourism Studies’ for Tourism, Culture and Communication, managed by Guest Editors Rodanthi Tzanelli, University of Leeds, UK and Maximiliano Korstanje, University of Palermo, Argentina. This Special Issue is a COLLABORATIVE PUBLICATION between TCC and ISA (The International Sociological Association) via the latter’s Research Committee (RC50) on ‘International Tourism’  Commissioning Editors are Keith Hollinshead (TCC) and Rukeya Suleman (RC50 / ISA).

The importance of criticality in the development of different analytical traditions in tourism studies is indisputable. Whether they focus on Marxist-inspired critiques of industrial production, in which tourism is a ‘consciousness industry’ (Enzensberger 1974), on Wallerstein’s ‘systems theory’ in which an exploitative European ‘world centre’ caters for tourist demand to consume peripheral exoticism (Greenwood 1977; Britton 1989), on  occulocentric practices organised by ‘experts’ and consumed by clients (Urry 1999, 2002; Hollinshead 2009), or on the deployment of tourism as a performative tool for collective self-aggrandizement by states and communities (MacCannell 1973; Edensor 2002), such arguments seek to promote particular modes of critical thinking.

As early as the 1940s, Frankfurt School-inspired critical theory equipped tourist studies scholarship with appropriate tools to examine tourism as an economic process, a multi-industry and a social fact (von Wiese 1930; Bornmann 1931). Indeed tourism’s contribution to an essential division of human activities between work and leisure in Western and European societies (Krippendorf 1986) — which coincided with the institution of paid holidays as a universal right (1940) — fed into such arguments, so the critical turn became entangled in globalised/Europeanised institutional changes, inducing new objections to treating tourism as a universal value. From the late 1990s-2000s, a ‘new mobilities paradigm’ (with its ‘critical mobilities’ branch (Söderström et al. 2013)) breathed new life into these debates by employing new methodological and epistemological tools from Complex Adaptive Systems and Actor-Network Theory, in which ‘systems’ comprise more or other-than-human actants that propel different types of human performance in tourism (Sheller and Urry 2004; Hannam et al. 2006).

Regardless of their differences, all these arguments and schools share an interest in the promotion of critical thinking. This Special Issue seeks to bring to academic discourse what ‘critical thinking’ truly is as an epistemic mode favouring systems, or a form of structural and/or agential meaning-making performed by host communities, tourists, tourist design industries and scholars in tourist studies and other cognate fields.


Some indicative but not exhaustive themes for possible papers are:

  • The importance of systems theory today (e.g. considerations of tourism as a multi-system; tourism and complexity theory)
  • New forms and styles of criticality in tourism analysis
  • Implementations of critical thinking in contemporary socio-cultural contexts of tourism (e.g. disaster zones, military tourism, dark and slum tourism or Brexit)
  • Critical tourism studies and modes of host, guest or industrial agency
  • New critiques of traditional critical theory in the field (e.g. problematic prioritizations of the economic or the political over the cultural or aesthetic as a critical mode)
  • Critical thinking and (re)definitions of ‘tourism’ and the ‘tourist’


Submissions: Abstracts of 300 words which contribute to knowledge about the role of critical thinking in tourism contexts should be submitted by email to both and by no later than 15 February 2019Please email us your abstracts under the title ‘RC50/ISA CfP Abstract Submission’.

The abstracts will enter a peer review process, from which only successful applicants will be invited to submit full manuscripts. The deadline for submission of first drafts of manuscripts is 15 March 2019. Deadline for receipt of first drafts of manuscripts is 1 July 2019. Accepted papers will normally be limited to 7000 words, max.

We look forward to hearing from interested colleagues before or on the set deadline

With best wishes

Rodanthi & Max


Dr Rodanthi Tzanelli
Associate Professor of Cultural Sociology
School of Sociology and Social Policy,
Social Sciences Building 12.04
University of Leeds

Tel: 0113 343 8746
Fax:0113 343 4415