Research Culture Seminar: Reconsidering tourismophobia

Join us for this week's Research Culture Seminar with Associate Professor Dr Rodanthi Tzanelli who will explore touristification and tourismophobia.


Reconsidering tourismophobia in cinematic tourism mobilities

This presentation focuses on the ways localities, nation-states and national or international activists (as the former’s spokespersons) respond to excessive cinematic touristification in reactionary or defensive ways. The cases upon which I draw are mostly episodic, but crucial for the current global climate of hostility against forms of strangerhood. Because established analytical frames on social movements do not assist in the study of most such episodic expressions of discontent, a new analytical model is devised to tease out their affective significance in the grand scheme of globalisation.

Drawing analytically from a blend of postcolonial, feminist scholarship and social theory (of hope and heterology), I identify three types of ‘response’ to cinematic touristification: ‘epistemic misalignment’ is rarely openly violent, however it is regulated by a combative-adaptive response to development, which usually occurs in postcolonial contexts; ‘hospitality’ can be more hostile and widespread, as it often focuses on ethnonational belonging and ritual expulsion/segregation or monetary exploitation of tourists as strangers; finally, ‘postindustrial disobedience’ makes labour disputes in cinematic tourist contexts its focus, when they are in fact manifestations of identity battles where touristification is at its height. I suggest that we consider these responses in terms of (lay) design of atmospheres: as affective manifestations of a rather animated and turbulent dialogue with tourist industries and tourists as the spokesmen of development. These ‘dialogues’ have consequences: they rear the ugly face of ‘tourismophobia’ as an inversed heterological discourse replete with emotion - fear (and hatred) directed against cosmopolitan citizenship by the custodians of native tradition and heritage. However, they may also point to moments of cross-cultural fertilisation in new neoliberal spaces of modernity.

About the speaker

Dr Rodanthi Tzanelli is an interdisciplinary academic, based in the School of Sociology and Social Policy, with an interest in cultural globalisation and the communication between 'slow' and 'fast' mobilities. Her specialisms include intersections of media and tourism and the ways these trigger socio-cultural change, as well as the ways the local survives in global cultural spaces. Her most recent book, Cinematic Tourism Mobilities and the Plight of Development: On Atmospheres, Affects and Environments (Routledge, 2018), debates the paradoxes of development, especially where cultural and natural sources, which are deemed aspects of native heritage, are turned into spectacular staples for tourists.


There is no need to register for this event; all are welcome - please just turn up on the day. Please note there is limited capacity in the seminar room and spaces will be available on a first-come first-served basis.

Research Culture Seminar Series

These seminars, organised by the School of Sociology and Social Policy (SSP), generally take place every Wednesday in term time, from 12 - 1.30pm in Room 12.21/12.25 on Level 12 of the Social Sciences Building. Please check back on the website event listings for details of future seminars. 

If you have any enquiries about this seminar series, please contact Tanisa at with the subject "Enquiry: Research Culture Seminar Series".