This theme interrogates significant and challenging issues influencing how we come to understand who we are in relation to the places and cultures in and through which life is lived. As people inhabit, embody and move through the world around them, they transform it into a meaningful world of places, ‘things’ and activities. Through such activities as tourism, leisure and sport, identity is (re)created and experienced, performed and displayed through the active engagement of people with place.
The places and associated activities that command our attention are diverse and eclectic and include the coast, countryside, built environments, such as airports, cruise ships, stadia and hotels, museums, attractions, festivals, spectacles and events. We incorporate a range of intellectual and methodological approaches and seek to explore and interrogate such places for what they may reveal about the ways in which people live their lives, inhabit their worlds, and construct their lived realities. Encounters with the cultures, people and activities linked with places shape knowledge and understanding of self, other and the wider world.
We incorporate a broad swath of the humanities and social sciences including but not limited to anthropology, cultural geography, material culture studies, media studies, sociology as well as visual and cultural studies.
We explore the following research themes:
- constructing and consuming identity(ies)
- heritage, landscape and memorialisation
- mediating places, identities and cultures
- embodiment, materiality and the senses
- the visual and visuality.
In addition, we consider the growing importance of spectacle, events and performance, as well as the role of sport and recreational communities.