Call for ATIG Program Committee Members

We invite applications to join the ATIG Program Committee. The committee works together each year to determine which AAA panel will be named the official ATIG-sponsored session (an “invited panel”) to be held during the AAA Meetings.

Committee members agree to read and evaluate all submitted panel proposals between March 24 and April 3 of this year. Committee members must be official voting members of ATIG (and, by extension, of the AAA) and will be expected to recuse themselves from evaluating any panel proposal they are personally involved in.

If you are interested in this position, please email the ATIG Program Chair, Clare A. Sammells, the following information by Friday, March 17:
1) Name
2) Email
3) Institutional affiliation and postition
4) A brief biographical statement indicating your work and interests in the area of the anthropology of tourism

Call for ATIG Invited Panel at AAA 2017 in Washington DC

ATIG is soliciting proposals for the ATIG-sponsored session (an “invited panel”) to be held during the 116th AAA Meetings in Washington DC, November 29-December 3, 2017.

Prospective Invited Panel proposals should prioritize the use of tourism as an analytical framework or object of analysis, and should contribute to the anthropology of tourism, broadly conceived.  Panels that focus on the critical examination of the 2017 meeting’s theme, “Anthropology Matters!” are especially welcome. Proposed panels conceptualized on issues other than the AAA meeting theme will also be considered. (A full description of the meeting theme can be found here.)

“Anthropology Matters!” also matters for the anthropology of tourism.  As an industry, tourism engages billions of people and dollars, has major effects on the physical and natural environment, and influences how people see themselves as individuals and societies.  It is a practice that claims to bridge cultural differences, even as it creates political divisions.  ATIG is particularly interested in sponsoring a cutting-edge session that critically reflects on these realities and the new and unexpected ways of considering how the anthropology of tourism can be said to “matter.”

Deadline for proposal submission: Friday, March 24, 2017.  (ATIG will notify submitters of its selection by Monday, April 3, 2017)

Proposals Must Include:

Title and Abstract of proposed session
Names of Session organizer(s), affiliation, contact email(s), and phone
List of Papers, including titles, abstracts, author names and affiliations

Submit by email as attachment to Clare A. Sammells, ATIG Program Chair.

CFP Deadline Extended: Architecture & Tourism: Fictions, Simulacra, Virtualities



Paris, Sorbonne, July 4-7, 2017

Organizing Institutions
University of California, Berkeley
University of Geneva
University Paris 1-Panthéon-Sorbonne

The aim of this conference is to question and rethink the built environments constructed for and by tourism. Such environments are commonly rooted in cultural imaginaries that become spatialized as simulacra for the purpose of attracting tourists. Simulacra may mean the reinterpretation of a medieval village as a shopping mall or the wholesale recreation of Venice in Las Vegas, or it may stem from virtual realities that have been populated by folkloric traditions, contemporary popular culture or science fiction such as Disneyland, Star Wars, or East Asian “anime pilgrimages” destinations (Contents Tourism).

We question the ways in which fictions, simulacra, and virtualities express tourism in the built environment and vice versa. What is the relationship between the “real” and the “fake,” especially within the so-called tourist bubble? How are these tourist worlds performed and what is at stake in these performances? Who benefits from the creation of these touristic worlds? How might tourism environments influence the daily practice of architecture?

Since its beginnings in the Industrial Revolution, an era that heralded the rapid urbanization of Western Europe, the phenomenon of mass tourism inspired built environments that have a constitutive, and sometimes problematic, relationship with the “real” world and its architectural references. On the one hand, such environments re-interpret architectural and urban archetypes such as the ancient palace, the Renaissance villa, or the Mediterranean village. On the other hand, they spatialize perceptions of utopia: among them, pristine environments, Shangri-La, El Dorado, Eden, and Paradise. In most cases these two situations occur simultaneously, creating idealised places inspired by dreamed or utopian ideas.

Tourists are not only the “consumers” of these idealised worlds; they also co-produce and they constantly re-interpret them through their imaginaries and their practices. Non-Western practices of tourism are similarly inspired to build their simulacra based on their imaginaries of both the “traditional Western world” (e.g., Shenzen, Windows on the World) and their virtual worlds (e.g., Hindu Temple theme parks). If these tourism worlds have been inspired by actually existing places as well as imagined worlds, then they have also inspired, in their turn, the places in which we live, work, learn, shop, study or practice our leisure activities.

*Tourism architecture: copies and simulacra (i.e., references, models, geographies)
*Architecture, game and themed environments: Macao, Las Vegas, European cities recreated in Asia
*Tourism imagined worlds/dreamlands: theme parks, resorts, “tourist bubbles”
*Contents Tourism: popular culture of youths’ virtual worlds and their ‘real’ destinations (i.e., Pokémon Go)
*Virtualities and tourism architecture
*Furniture, design, interiors, micro-environments, and landscapes of tourism worlds
*Tourism architecture as a mode of storytelling
*The “major fictions” used in tourism themed environments (e.g., Haussmannian Paris, Venice, the Caribbean exotic, colonial imperialism) and their relationship to their urban and architectural archetypes
*Cinematic fictions and tourism architecture
*Tourism architecture and relation to time: heritagization, virtualization, destruction, rewriting, reconstruction
*Makers of tourism worlds: architects, designers, imagineers
*Class and niche tourisms, and ‘niche architectures’
*Tourism architecture as iconic guides to nationality, race and ethnicity

Submission Procedure
Please send abstracts (approx. 500 words) and a one-page CV to Maria Gravari-Barbas (, Nelson Graburn ( and Jean-François Staszak ( by December 10, 2016. We will notify contributors of acceptance by January 20, 2017.

Organizing Committee
Nezar AlSayyad, Department of Architecture, University of California at Berkeley
Nelson Graburn, Department of Anthropology, University of California at Berkeley
Maria Gravari-Barbas, Tourism Studies (IREST), Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University
Stephanie Malia Hom, Acus Foundation
Jean-François Staszak, Department of Geography, Geneva University

Scientific Committee (in progress)
Stefan Al, University of Pennsylvania
Nadia Alaily-Mattar, Technische Universität München
Nezar AlSayyad, University of California, Berkeley
Erica Avrami, Columbia University
Anne-Marie Broudehoux, Université de Québec à Montréal
Lee Cott, Harvard Graduate School of Design
Bernard Debarbieux, Université de Genève
Pierre Diener, DGA Paris
Diane Favro, UCLA
Nelson Graburn, University of California, Berkeley
Maria Gravari-Barbas, EIREST, IREST, Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University
Stephanie Malia Hom, Acus Foundation
D. Medina Lasansky, Cornell University
Dean MacCannell, University of California, Davis
Joan Ockman, Columbia University
Virginie Picon-Lefebvre, Ecole d’Architecture Paris-Belleville
Davide Ponzini, Politecnico di Milano
Cécile Renard, EIREST, IREST, Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University
Jean-François Staszak, Geneva University
Ipek Türeli, McGill University

The conference will take place at the Sorbonne, Paris.

Select References
AlSayyad, Nezar, ed. 2001. Consuming Tradition, Manufacturing Heritage: Global Forms and Urban Norms in the Age of Tourism. London: Routledge.
Bosker, Bianca. 2013. Original Copies: Architectural Mimicry in Contemporary China. Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press; Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.
Broudehoux, Anne-Marie. 2002. Modernity with Chinese Characteristics: Urban Image Construction in Fin-de-Siécle Beijing. UC Berkeley: e-Dissertation.
Franci Giovanna. 2005. Dreaming of Italy: Las Vegas and the Virtual Grand Tour. Reno and Las Vegas: University of Nevada Press.
–––. 2006. The Myth of the Grand Tour and Contemporary Mass Tourism Imagination: The Example of Las Vegas, Bologna: CLUEB.
Graburn, Nelson. 2004. “Inhabiting Simulacra: the Reimaging of Environments in Japan.” Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review, 39-39.
Gravari-Barbas Maria, Renard Cécile. 2015. Starchitecture(s). Celebrity Architects and Urban Space, L’Harmattan, Paris.
Hom, Stephanie Malia. 2010. “Italy without Borders: Simulacra, Tourism, Suburbia, and the New Grand Tour.” Italian Studies, Vol. 65, No. 3, November, 376–97.
–––. 2015. The Beautiful Country: Tourism and the Impossible State of Destination Italy. Toronto: U of Toronto Press.
Lasansky, D. Medina and Brian MacLaren, eds. 2004. Architecture and Tourism: Perception, Performance, and Place. Oxford: Berg.
Minca, Claudio. 2007. “The Tourist Landscape Paradox.” Social and Cultural Geography, Vol. 8, No. 3, 433-453.
Ockman, Joan. 2004. “New Politics of the Spectacle: Bilbao and the Global Imagination.” Architecture and Tourism: Perception, Performance, and Place. Eds. D. Medina Lasansky and Brian McLaren. Oxford: Berg Publishers. 227–239.
Salazar, Noel and Nelson Graburn, eds. 2014. Tourism Imaginaries: Anthropological Approaches. London: Berghahn.
Venturi, Robert, Denise Scott Brown, and Steven Izenour. 1977. Learning from Las Vegas: The Forgotten Symbolism of Architectural Form, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Wagner, Rachel. 2011. Godwired: Religion, Ritual, and Virtual Reality. London: Routledge.

Conference Schedule
Tuesday, July 4th Opening Banquet, Plenary Address
Wednesday, July 5th Concurrent Sessions, morning and afternoon
Thursday, July 6th Concurrent Sessions, morning and afternoon
Evening: Closing Reception
Friday, July 7th Excursion, TBA

Before it’s too late…Nominate!

Dear ATIG members,

As Convenor and Convenor-elect, Quetzil Castaneda and I wanted to urge members in ATIG to consider self-nominating for one of 18 Executive leadership positions–from the Nominations Committee (who vets these self-nominations) to the newly formed Programmatic Advisory and Advocacy Committee (M-PAAC).

We wanted to especially draw your attention to this new M-PAAC, which would be responsible for advising the Executive Board on a range of issues affecting the membership. There are 10 positions in total on M-PAAC, including two student positions, and they address important topics like ethics, human rights, gender, labor, and practicing anthropology. While there are no positions that directly speak to Interest Groups or Sessions (or to tourism and heritage), these are important advisory positions that touch on all facets of AAA life. It would, of course, be great to have the ATIG membership well-represented!

Please note the deadline is in a few days — Oct. 5. Self-nominations are then vetted by the Nominations Committee, who will make the final decision on who will run for election.

See below for the link to self-nominate.

Best of luck!
Michael A. Di Giovine and Quetzil Castaneda




ATIG Election Results

ATIG is pleased to announce its recently elected board members!

We thank all members who took the time to cast their ballots. In addition to electing new board members, the ATIG membership overwhelming supported renewing ATIG as an Interest Group of the American Anthropological Association (AAA).

Newly elected officers:

Convener–Michael Di Giovine (West Chester University of Pennsylvania)

Secretary–Amy Speier (University of Texas at Arlington)

Program Chair–Clare Sammells (Bucknell University)

Undesignated Member-at-Large–Lauren Griffith (Hanover College)

Student-at-Large–Kimberly Berg (University at Albany, SUNY)

Congratulations to all and welcome to the ATIG Board!