New Seminar for February

Please join us on 18th February for the next in our series of research seminars.

Sustaining intangible cultural heritage through the vehicle of tourism: choices and challenges
Professor Alison McCleery, Edinburgh Napier University Business School

Wednesday, 18th February 1 – 2pm
Room 1.06, 18 Windsor Terrace
All Welcome- feel free to bring a sandwich

This presentation will explore aspects of the input of tourism to regional development policies. Specifically, the possibility is explored that there can be a realistic role for sustainable tourism premissed upon the conversion of intangible cultural heritage (ICH or ‘living culture’) from an inward-facing phenomenon practiced by indigenous communities to an outward-facing phenomenon offered to visiting tourists. The challenge is to introduce that living culture to external paying audiences in a sensitive way such that it does not place very special, extremely delicate and sometimes sacred non-material heritage at risk of damage, dilution or destruction. Key ICH issues will be examined in the geographical context of contrasting case study sites across Scotland and in the conceptual contexts of identity, authenticity and inclusion. The objective of doing so is to assist in identifying common aspects of endeavouring to sustain living culture through tourism with a view to enabling a model of best practice, applicable across cultures, to be developed and tested with a view to wider dissemination and application – and to delivering impact.

Professor Alison McCleery: Short Biography

Alison McCleery is Professor of Economic and Cultural Geography at Edinburgh Napier University. She holds a 1st Class Honours Degree in Geography from St Andrews and a PhD from Glasgow on the topic of regional development policy. She has since published widely on North Atlantic peripheral rural areas, including on France where she both lived and worked briefly. More recently Alison’s work has evolved to embrace Intangible Cultural Heritage, the formal term used by UNESCO to denote what is often referred to as ‘living culture’. In 2013 she was both an invited speaker at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC and a keynote presenter at celebrations in Venice to mark the 10th Anniversary of the 2003 UNESCO Convention on the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. Committed to the capacity building of early career researchers, Alison sits on the boards of both the ESRC Doctoral Training Centre and the AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership for Scotland.

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