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International conference, 26-27 September 2005, Lancaster University
Home > Research > Mobilising Hospitality

Mobilising Hospitality

the ethics of social relations in a mobile world

Recent developments in transportation, infrastructures, information technologies and mobile communications have enabled and transformed various forms of mobility from the corporeal movements of migration, tourism and business travel to virtual mobilities through cyberspace or across distances via e-mail and mobile phones. The social, cultural, political and ethical implications of these new forms of mobility have been the focus of work across several disciplines, including sociology, science and technology studies, cultural theory, transport studies, tourism and travel studies, geography, and women’s studies.

This workshop aims to bring together researchers from across these disciplines to think about hospitality as a concept for theorising social relations in an increasingly mobile world. Whether engaged as a cultural, ethical, commercial or technological concept, scholars are using the notion of hospitality to think about such relations, from the politics of multiculturalism, migration and welcoming the stranger to the relationship between hosts and guests in tourism mobilities to cybernetic encounters with the other through virtual mobilities. The notion of hospitality holds particular potential for thinking through various kinds of mobilities, including complex contemporary configurations of ‘dwelling in mobility’ and ‘mobilising dwelling’. As well as exploring the power relations between mobile populations (hosts and guests) and attitudes (hospitality and hostility), this workshop also examines spaces of hospitality and mobility such as hotels, asylums, restaurants, camps, homes and homepages. However, just as the question of mobility has to be supplemented by the idea of immobility, the question of hospitality raises the spectre of hostility and the inhospitable. How are these relations marked by exclusion as well as inclusion, by violence as well as by kindness, as a way of promoting encounters, but also policing them?

Scholars have deployed the concept of hospitality across a wide range of phenomena, from commercial forms of hospitality, such as those provided by the travel and tourism industry, to less explicit forms of hospitality extended by the nation to migrants, refugees or asylum seekers, to new forms of hospitality enabled by technological forms such as the ‘homepage’ and to intellectual hospitality. Thus a primary aim of this workshop is to consider how the deployment of the concept of hospitality in one context may provide insights in another. In other words, we hope to mobilise hospitality both as a theoretical concept and across disciplines.

Some of the themes we hope to explore are:

  • hospitality as an ethics for a mobile world - cosmopolitan hospitality
  • multiculturalism and postcolonial hospitality
  • tourism hospitality
  • hospitality in cyberspace/hosting and - economies of hospitality
    information technologies - spaces and landscapes
  • hospitality, hostility and the inhospitable hospitality
  • intellectual hospitality within and across disciplines

Confirmed speakers include:

Ghassan Hage, University of Sydney
John Urry, Lancaster University
Judith Still, University of Nottingham
Tim Cresswell, University of Wales, Aberystwyth
Soile Veijola, University of Lapland
Tom O'Dell, Lund University, Sweden
Karima Laachir, University of Birmingham
Phil Crang, Royal Holloway, University of London

Workshop Artist - Elly Clarke

DEADLINE for Registration 9 September 2005

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